Maybe it’s just all us Skinny Confidential readers out there – but I really feel like Stoicism is all the rage right now.
Or at least reading about it.
I was actually first introduced to Stoicism when I read this book back in college. I’m definitely not a “ra ra ra” pep talk kind of a gal – I need practical tips, I need realism. I’m very pragmatic. All the times I did therapy, I specifically went to cognitive behavioral therapists, if that gives you any inkling into my brain.
Stoicism has been a total mindset game changer for me, and walking into the new year I really wanted to share my experience with ya’ll. So let’s break down what exactly Stoicism is and why I’m obsessed.
Stoicism is essentially a practical, “real world” kind of philosopy.
Stoicism was founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early 3rd century BC, but was famously practiced by the likes of Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. The philosophy asserts that virtue (such as wisdom) is happiness and judgment should be based on behavior, rather than words. That we don’t control and cannot rely on external events, only ourselves and our responses.Daily Stoic
Stoicism is inherently simple and only has a few teachings.
Stoics are realists – and the reality is that the world (LIFE) is highly unpredictable. You can plan for your life all you want, but ultimately you are not in control. While the lack of control may seem frightening and scary, the Stoics would argue there is great power in acceptance.
“YOLO” became one of the most quintessential phrases of my college years – hilariously enough, the Stoics would have approved. Stoicism acknowledges that life is incredibly short and that most of us are treating time as if it is abundant. Stoicism encourages you to face the reality that life is short (and we also don’t know how much of it we get) – so to live it truly to the fullest.
Stoics not only recognize that life is unpredictable and that you can’t control it, but you also cannot control others – you can only control you.
Stoicism is rooted in logic. Read any books on Stoicism and you’ll pick this up real quick.
Feelings, emotions, but most of all, expectations, cause deep dissatisfaction. Ever expected something to happen or someone to behave a certain way, only to be hurt in the end?
That’s expectations for ya.
My top tip for beginning to practice Stoicism in your daily life would be to pick up a copy of Ryan Holiday’s, “The Daily Stoic.” The Daily Stoic is essentially a Stoic devotional. The reader reads one quick page per day, inclusive of a quote from a famous Stoic philosopher and a brief assessment of what we can learn from the passage. The book is broken down with themes for each month, including topics like acceptance and mortality.
I can’t even stress this enough – reading this book each morning and highlighting any relevant text has completely changed my life. There’s something about kicking off your day with a “theme” or something to focus on and think about that shifts your whole perspective.
Trust me – total game changer. My days are more productive, I’m less snippy and have been able to let the small things go, and I’m more grateful. Because as the Stoics teach us – life is short, time is precious, and we should try our best to not waste any of it.
My Stoic reading of choice is The Daily Stoic, but there’s a whole host of books out there that you can browse through! The Daily Stoic has been my fave because it’s digestible and simple – one page per day.
I really have no excuse to not be able to read one page per day.
I’ve blogged about my daily gratitude journal in the past, but I’ll admit I haven’t had the best consistency with this practice. Stoicism is like any other skill – you need to practice it.
My husband picked me up a copy of the Daily Stoic Journal and I plan to give that a try starting January 1st! It goes hand in hand with the Daily Stoic book, so I’m fairly convinced I’ll enjoy it as I’ll be able to read my passage for the day and reflect on it directly. I’ll report back to let you know how I like this journal specifically.
Practicing Stoicism has motivated me like no other – because hot damn when you really confront the fact that life is short and time is precious, you start to bust your ass into gear.
I have a somewhat recent blog post about how I stay organized. I’m currently trying out a slightly new system (more bullet journal vs planner), but the point is find a system that you love so that you’re ready to get to work after your buns have been motivated.
Thoughts on Stoicism? Hit me up in the comments below!
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