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20 ideas of stoicism to overcome adversity

In each adversity situation, the human being debates in the greatest challenge, which is the appropriate attitude to assume it and go through it.

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20 ideas of stoicism to overcome adversity
20 ideas of stoicism to overcome adversity

It is well known that, in Chinese, the word crisis is translated as Wei Ji . It is made up of two characters: Wei, which means danger, and Ji, opportunity.

In each adversity situation, the human being debates in the greatest challenge, which is the appropriate attitude to assume it and go through it. In turn, the reptilian impulse to confront or flee appears, giving character to the decision and choice that is made at each moment.

The emotional dimension that you will assume in the face of crisis or challenge depends to a large extent on the type of attitude and choice you take.

In this sense, the philosophical movement known as Stoicism, created by Zeno of Citio around 301 BC in Athens, Greece, can help us understand how we function in terms of the feelings and emotional reactions that disturb life.

Some other names of famous philosophers who adhered to stoicism in its different stages have been Chrysippus, Panetius, Posidonius, Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius.

4 pillars to assume a stoic position in life

Synthetically, it is based on two concepts, virtue and reason. And in their postulates, the Stoics propose to work with the internal strength and the equanimity of the character, since one of their ideals is to be able to remain undisturbed and with emotional independence before the events of the external world.

It has four pillars that support it:

  1. Happiness: for Stoicism the highest good is happiness, which consists in the tranquility of the soul.
  2. Practical sense: the facts are of two types: those that depend on us and those that do not.
  3. Man-time relationship: refers to the fact that time is relative and depends on how we use it (take advantage of it or waste it).
  4. Cosmopolitanism: the central idea is that we are all “citizens of the world”, and that what we call “State” is one without borders or nationalities.

16 reflections to be more stoic in the face of adversity

These phrases of great philosophers of the Stoic current in their different epochs invite us to maintain the mettle of the spirit, internal strength and the ability to overcome enormous challenges, what we know as human resilience.

I have added some tools in order to help you in your practical application:

1. “Some things are under our control and some are not. Things under our control are opinion, persecution, desire, aversion and, in a word, whatever our own actions are. The things that are not under our control are the body, the property, the reputation, the command and, in a word, what are not our actions ”. Epictetus.

Tool: Don't waste time trying to control the inevitable. Practice unconditional acceptance of everything that happens.

2. “You become what you give your attention” Epictetus.

Tool: Focus your attention on noble thoughts to create pro-positive emotions to reduce suffering.

3. “The works are half finished when they have started well.” Seneca.

Tool: Move. The start of a project or idea is 50% of the way. Only take the first step: the others will appear.

4. “It is essential that you remember that the attention you give to any action must be proportional to its value.” Marco Aurelio.

Tool: What you pay attention to, however small, dominates you. Be careful what you think, because it can control you and determine your concrete results.

5. “We don't dare many things because they are difficult, but they are difficult because we don't dare to do them.” Seneca.

Tool: Take the first step, then another, and continue. When you overcome inertia, mediocrity, and procrastination, the doer drive is unstoppable.

6. “Do not sabotage yourself by involuntarily adopting negative and unproductive attitudes through your relationships with others.” Epictetus.

Tool: Every time you give your personal power to another, you are diminishing your self-worth and creating emotional dependency.

7. «If you achieve something good with hard work, the work passes quickly, but the good lasts. If you do something shameful in search of pleasure, the pleasure passes quickly, but the shame endures. Musonio Rufo.

Tool: Discover a transcendent purpose and transform it into your legacy for humanity. What are you sowing on your way through the world?

8. “There is no favorable wind for those who do not know where they are going.” Seneca.

Tool: Complaining and comfortable people wear that as a comfort shield. Those who advance and succeed move against the wind and any storm and always rise.

9. “Don't you know that a good man does nothing for appearances, but to do what is right?” Epictetus.

Tool: Support integrity, consistency and impeccability in your actions as non-negotiable pillars.

10. «Most of what we do and say is not essential. Ask yourself at every moment, is this necessary? » Marco Aurelio.

Tool: Be productive every day and choose well what you will pay attention to and what you will put into action.

11. “It is not that we have little time, but that we lose a lot.” Seneca.

Tool: The focus and attention on the essentials make all the difference in the excellence of the result of your life, in any aspect.

12. «Take this moment. Dive into its details. Respond to this person, this challenge, this action. Leave the evasions. Epictetus.

Tool: The attitude of victim blaming others, and without total and absolute commitment, only attracts mediocrity to your life. A life without evasions implies assuming your responsibility that cannot be delegated. You are responsible for everything good and for all the misfortunes you experience. Take responsibility.

13. «At all times keep your attention on the task at hand. Perform each task as if it were the last, avoiding distraction, drama, vanity, and complaining about your situation. ” Marco Aurelio.

Tool: The complaint does not build or take you out of the place where you are. Focus on the essentials to add quality to your life in every action you take. Ask yourself: Does this bring me closer or further away from my main life goal?

14. “The unnecessary, even if it costs only a little, is expensive.” Seneca.

Tool: Eliminate everything superfluous from your life. This includes people, things, and a longing for unnecessary possessions.

15. «Do not be dragged by external accidents; Get some free time to learn something good and stop spinning like a top. Marco Aurelio.

Tool: Maintain internal emotional balance; This way you will avoid being carried away by events that, in most cases, have nothing to do with you or have no influence on them to change them.

16. «Long is the way of teaching by means of theories; brief and effective through practice. Seneca.

Tool: All the learning you have to do in life is learned by doing. Doing it does it. Theory and academics are excellent as a conceptual framework: the real challenge is to practice in the real theater of life. There you will see if those hundreds of books you read and if the ideas they instilled in you really work and create a better life for you and others.

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