I can conclude that living like a Stoic is learning to live a good life. I reach this conclusion, mostly after 3 years studying and practising stoicism, the interview with Massimo Pigliucci about what it means to be a Stoic in the modern world. And also the 50 days experiment of stoic life that I finished recently.
That is why I have put together the following list where I summarise all the practices, precepts, tricks, mantras and teachings on stoicism that have helped me to improve the way I live, act, think, feel and share …
Living like a stoic – my precepts
Practice Epictetus’ dichotomy of control: what you can control versus what you can’t control.
Love’s destiny instead of just accepting it. Face with joy every step that appears to be part of the road – Amor Fati.
Remind yourself how fragile life is – you can die at any moment. Let that undeniable fact dictate how you act and think – Memento Mori.
Prepare for anything that can come and drag, destabilise or frustrate you – negative visualisation.
Be ready to delay the prize or reward that you expect, and postpone or even eliminate the gratification you wish to obtain.
Be aware of all the privileges you already enjoy, be contempt with just that.
I can enjoy pleasure without suffering for not having it.
Enjoy what you already are, desire what you already have, crave what you already are, expect as you act, be what you want.
Remove from yourself the banal pleasure: sex without purpose, to appear, recognition, popularity, expectations. As well as material and presumptuous pleasure: brands, status, clothing, accessories or luxuries.
Give your best without asking for anything in return. Serve others, hold the space, and guide them.
Reflect in the morning on what your day will be like – ask yourself what you expect of it and how you will face what you see happening, what things you will let go, what you will be fair with, what changes you will make or fears you will face.
Evaluate at night how your day was, and doing it from the moral and ethical side. Regarding the mistakes and achievements you made, the essential learning, the weaknesses you were exposed to, the temptations you resisted, the passions you dodged, the Improvements you found, the help you received and the gifts you took.
For living like a Stoic, you must understand that if you have lived something once, you have already lived it. You don’t need to crave for more.
Practice serenity by identifying the moments in which you can reason, decide and choose, differentiating them from those that you don’t.
Ask yourself about the return you get on what you do with the question “What do I get in return for what I’m doing?”
Teach yourself to face, process, and deal with emotions immediately instead of running and escaping from them.
Make your mind run away from the things that provoke it. It is not a sign of weakness to finish something that bothers us, but of strength. I try to say: “I know the reaction that normally happens in this kind of situation, so I am not going to go through it this time.” And then I accompany it with: “I’m also going to eliminate this stimulus from my life for future occasions.” Because what follows it is serenity.
Accept just what is right.
Work to do good.
Embrace what nature has in store for you.
Ask yourself every day what you are, what you expect from yourself. Als ask, what obstacles have appeared on your journey and, and how you will conquer it.
Remember that although you perceive deficits, there are certain qualities that you can develop and that do not depend on genetic accidents. And you have the choice to be true. You have the choice to be worthy, that’s what Stoicism is based on. You can choose to be tough. Choose to be happy. You can choose to be incorrupt. Choose to be frugal and prosperous, be kind towards others. Decide to persist in stressful situations. You can choose to avoid gossip. You can choose to live with grace.
Align your work and your lifestyle to your virtue, when will you honour it and how.
How to be a stoic today – 50 days
Some days ago, I published the final summary video of the Stoic Life experiment. There I highlight everything that has happened before, during, and after living like a Stoic for 50 days. You can watch it below:
Photo credit: Like a Stoic.