On Stoicism

Looking back at 2016 at what had the biggest impact on my thinking and behavior. It was without a doubt finding out about stoiscm. Tim Ferriss once called it his “operating system” and I couldnt agree more.

Some of the main “rules of life” stoicism can teach us:

  1. Negative Visualisation, thinking about our death can be extremly motivationg and it at the same time puts things into perspective. So the main idea here to visualize not only our death but the worst things that could happen to us to gain gratitude for the present.
  2. Distinguish between what you can and what you can`t effect. This might the most fundamental lessons I got out of it. Not everything is in our power so focus your energy only on the things you actually can change. Quote: “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Epictetus
  3. Always prepare, but accept whatever happens. Preperation is key but when things dont turn out as you wanted them to accept it.
  4. Live only in the NOW, learn from he past and plan for the future but focus on the present. (Good book on that: The Power of Now)
  5. Dont take insults personally, or better take nothing personally.
  6. Keep your emotions in check, try to keep them balanced never in extremes. Emotions cloud your vision.
  7. Voluntary Discomfort. Put yourself into uncomforable positions regulary to experience that special feeling. This could mean take cold shower or talk to strangers etc.
  8. Simplify your lifestyle. Most things we do are not nessesary or even bad for us, keep it simple.
  9. Gratitude for what you have. I personally write down three (different!!) things everyday that I am thankful for.
  10. There is nothing more valuable than time. (See The Shortness of Life)

These are only some of the lessons the can get out of stoic philosphy.

The best books I found on Stoism were: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, The Shortness of Life and Letters of a Stoic by Seneca and as a overview The Guide to the Good Life by William Irvin and lastly The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.