7 Key Stoic principles In Under 1 Minute

What are Stoic principles?
Confusing, bewildering, information overload! These were my thoughts when I first started out with Stoicism. In this post I breakdown seven of the most important principles.

Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy which teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions. It does not seek to extinguish emotions completely, but rather seeks to transform them by a resolute Asceticism (a voluntary abstinence from worldly pleasures), which enables a person to develop clear judgment, inner calm and freedom from suffering (which it considers the ultimate goal).

This approach attracted and its principles me. I knew I wanted a cohesive philosophy of life, but I wasn’t sure what the main points and principles were. Failure to have philosophy of life guaranteed that I wasn’t making the most of my limited time.

I soon realised that everyone could be a philosopher. It wasn’t the sole remit of dusty academics. Human beings are rational but become distracted by day-to-day problems, misfortunes and worries.  So in this post I’ll set out my understanding of stoic philosophy in seven key points. Use these as a springboard to further research and to leading to a happier, calmer life. Here we go ….

  1. Happiness is freedom from unhelpful emotions.
  2. Reduce unhelpful emotions by living with virtue.
  3. Virtue arises by being in harmony with nature.
  4. Nature is accepting we are small parts of a bigger, ever changing whole, created by events outside of our control.
  5. Happiness and virtue arise from personal choice and continuous attention to our thoughts.
  6. The things called good by most people, such as health, possessions, reputation, and the like, are often aligned with our nature.
  7. But they are not always aligned with our nature. Sometimes you may obtain or maintain them at the expense of a person’s integrity.

How would you summarise the principles of Stoicism? What is your Stoic elevator pitch? What have I missed out?
Why not leave a comment below:

Photo by andymag on / CC BY

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