Stoic Philosophy – 3 Lessons on How to Be Happy from Stoicism
Marcus Aurelius, the ancient Roman emperor from 161 to 180AD. At the time, he could have been considered to be the most powerful individual in the world. He is also considered to be a stoic philosopher. Stoic philosophy is defined as:
An ancient philosophy which teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions.
Some of the teachings of Marcus Aurelius can be considered to be stoic.
Here are 3 great quotes from Marcus Aurelius on happiness and how to obtain it.
1. Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
This quote is great because when you contemplate happiness, our perception and our minds are what determine if something is seen to be positive or negative. We make a choice of how we perceive an event in our lives. Even if you don’t feel like you are in control of your emotions, you actually are. Stoicism encourages you to control your emotions and not to let your emotions control you.
2. You have the power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.
You must be the captain of your own ship and maintain your vessel, your mind. Don’t allow outside events and circumstances to steer you in directions that will not be beneficial to you. Have the strength to have power over your mind.
3. It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
There is a reality that everyone dies, and if you live your day as if it is your last, one day you will certainly be right. Remembering that you will be dead soon will be one of the most important tools that will help you make some of the most important choices in life.
Knowing that you are going to die should be the best way to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose when you follow your heart.
Many people believe that to be Stoic, you must just accept everything that happens to you or have no emotions whatsoever. The way you can use Stoicism to become happier in your everyday life is to understand the power and control you have over your life and your emotions. This is why Stoics are able to use their framework to make better decisions in high stress situations.
Bonus Quote from Stoic Master, Seneca.
Confidence in yourself is the belief that you are on the right path, and not led astray by the many tracks which cross yours of people who are hopelessly lost, though some are wandering not far from the true path. – Seneca
Your happiness is completely under your control and is defined by your perception of the events in your life. To practice Stoicism in becoming a happier and more fulfilled person, you must dedicate yourself to repetitively and consistently focus on things that are within your sphere of control.
You have to learn and expand your sphere of control that you have and systematically train yourself to not over react to criticism and negativity coming from the outside.
Mehdi KA is an inspirational blogger and motivational speaker. He has traveled to over 43 countries and enjoys writing as a way to share his experiences and life lessons.
In theImportance.net he shares content that he believes can help people to achieve their goals and live a fulfilling life.