I have been reading The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday for the last six months now. Every page talks about a principle of stoicism which is like a pearl of wisdom. For those who are unaware of the Stoics, it is a philosophy which deals with action and how we react to it. In its root, it separates what we can control and what lies outside our boundaries.
How does a thousand-year-old philosophy hold it’s ground today?
Pretty Firmly! Now more than ever it’s relevance speaks to us as we stalk people’s Facebook Instagram. As we live in a society where success has become more materialistic. We need to find answers to the most basic of questions.
Here are a few one-liners which are worth more than a book
How you do anything is how you do everything
During my internship, my reporting manager gave me a task to make one slide of a presentation. It was boring work so I completed it in 5 minutes and sent it to him. After looking at it he asked whether I considered the font size of the previous slide or the gradient of the graph. He said even if its a mundane task it needs to be done perfectly to the last details, not every time we are expected to do an interesting assignment. Albeit every-time we are needed to do the task with perfection. How you do anything is how you do everything.
You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger for they don’t care at all
Circumstances are incapable of understanding your feelings. They don’t care about your reaction. They are not people. So stop acting like getting worked up is having an impact on a given situation. Situations don’t care at all.
You are not your body and hairstyle but your capacity for choosing well. If your choices are beautiful so will you be
In Fight Club the protagonist states “You are not your job, you are not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You are not the contents of your wallet”. We are not the possession we hold so dear rather the choices that hold us accountable for our actions. The stoics urge us to consider not how things appear but what effort, activity, and choices they are the result of.
Silence is a lesson learned from the many sufferings of life
Robert Greene states “The more you say the more likely you are to say something foolish”.Often we have an urge to let everything out. That urge might be an effect of the emotion we are having. We might give away more than we require which might come back and haunt us.
Seneca states that knowledge without application is knowledge with rust. While the quotes can be insightful without practice they are just words.