What Is The Definition Of Stoicism? How Can It Help Me

What Is The Meaning Of Stoicism? How Does It Help Me

1. Introduction

Today the word stoic is used as someone who can remain calm under stressful circumstances and who avoids emotional extremes. whilst this highlights important features of stoicism, the original philosophy was greater than that of an attitude. The name stoicism comes from the stoa pokie, the public decorated colonnade where zero gathered his disciples for discussion.

Moreover, stoicism was an old school of philosophy that educated various students’ ways of how to live a successful life. It mainly focuses on happiness and aims to decrease negative feelings.

Stoicism is indifference to pain and pleasure. Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, believed that when your inner peace is never disturbed by events, that is the ideal state. Stoics believe that to be free from emotional disturbances you have to understand that the only two decisions you have are your attitude and personal behavior, the rest belongs to fate.

2. What is the definition of stoicism?

It all began around 300BCE where a rich dealer got shipwrecked and lost everything in Athens, Zeno of Citium. Now he is known as a popular physician and the founder of the academy of stoicism where he taught philosophy. Upon landing in Athens, he roamed around and came across a bookstore one day, and was fascinated about the topic of Socrates and therefore proceeded to look out and investigate with other philosophers in the city. Zeno derived the stoicism philosophy as self-control, education of virtue and tolerance have inspired multiple generations of thinkers and leaders.

2.1 The philosophy of stoicism

The Stoics held a range of positions in many areas of philosophy. There are 3 main stoic disciplines. One being logic, the stoics were few of the first to advance from Aristotle’s categorical logic to propositional logic.

The Stoics were determinists when it came to free will. They think that any particular situation would fully determine what would happen in the next moment. They were not fatalists. They don’t claim that truths about the future were necessary, merely determined by events now. Stoics famously disputed with the skeptics of epistemology. The Stoics conceived of “cognitive impressions” which correctly grasped the state of reality, and when presented it would assent to them. Only the stoic sage could properly identify cognitive impressions and would, after assenting to one, withdraw assent.

Stoics trusted that what happened around us happens due to a cause and effect circle, ensuing a logical position of the universe, called logos. Even though we might not always be able to control the happenings influencing us, we can control how we react to things. There are four cardinal virtues:

2.1.1 Wisdom: the ability to practically think through complicated circumstances in a calm, logical, and informed manner

2.1.2 Temperance: to be able to exercise self-control as well as the restriction in all aspects of life

2.1.3 Justice: when others have done you offense, but still handle them with equity.

2.1.4 Courage: not just in unexpected circumstances, but bravely facing challenges every day with honesty and precision.

Also See: 10 Life-Changing Benefits Of Adopting A Stoic Practice Into Your Life

3. How can it help me?

In Stoicism, you focus on personal development, but this is not a self-centered philosophy. During the Roman times where people were treated as slaves for property, Seneca highlighted the importance of humane treatment of them and the fact that we are all sharing the same religion. Stoicism doesn’t encourage passivity. People with the cultivation of humility and kindness can bring a positive change in others. Marcus Aurelius was one of the most famous Roman Stoic writers, and it is one of the most important of the Roman emperors. Stoicism gave him the will to lead the empire, and by the means of the two major world wars in the 19-year-old reign, while coping with the loss of much of his family, and loved ones.

Marcus’s journal served as Nelson’s reference and convenience, not years later, during his 27 years in prison, convicted and sentenced in the struggle for racial equality in South Africa. He also emphasized the importance of peace and harmony, in the good faith belief that the wrongs of the past can’t be changed once it is freed, it will not confront it and try to build a better and more just future.

4. What is the meaning of stoicism?

Stoicism is often misunderstood or misperceived. When people hear the word stoic it means to them; someone emotionless or can hide their feelings well. But it’s more than just acting hard. Stoicism is a device used for pursuing their resolve with knowledge and self-mastery; used to live a better life. Helps individuals sharpen their characteristic virtues.

Many of history’s greatest minds sought it out and also recognized Stoicism for what it truly is. Primarily keeping in mind that it provides endurance, firmness, and intelligence for all of life’s future challenges.

When Zeno founded stoicism he developed his philosophy into four parts; ethics, logic, physics, and theology. It was one of the newest and major movements during the Hellenistic period through to the Roman era. Stoicism was one of the four major principle schools of philosophy. Stoicism is a list of methodology and personal ethics to seek practical wisdom in life.

Stoicism supplies a framework for living better. Allows people to remember what is important and valuable and provide strategies. One especially influential stoic, Epictetus the philosopher, wrote that our suffering originates not from the events in our lives, but our perception of them. This has resonated strongly within modern psychology and the self-help movement.

4.1 Central idea of stoicism

4.1.1 Value: external items such as fame, success, and money can’t bring us happiness. They do not hold the value that will form a good life, the pursuit of these things can damage us. The thing that can truly bring happiness is an excellent rational mental state and is the only thing that can guarantee happiness.

4.1.2 Nature: it was believed that to be happier you should live in coherence with nature. The concept of accepting the fact that we are smaller beings part of a larger whole that is out of our control and nothing would be obtained by resisting the larger processes. While there are items you can change, there are also many other items we cannot and that fact needs to be accepted.

4.1.3 Emotions: our emotions are the projections of our judgment. Many pessimistic emotions are based on mistaken judgment and are out of control. Changing the judgment can change the emotion. Despite the sayings, the stoic doesn’t repress their emotions.

4.1.4 Control: there are some matters in our life that we have a grasp on that we can control and we also have those that we can not control. What we can direct over is what we can promise an adequate, content life. Confusing them both and thinking that we have control over something that we don’t, can ruin said happiness.

4.2 History of stoicism

Stoicism has been a school of philosophy in Greece and Rome for centuries. As an official setting, it is gone, but his influence continues to this day.

With Stoicism, today is the day we can use it to deal with adversity. With the right strategies, you’ll be in a position to deal with emotions, physical pain, and illness. – Marcus Aurelius compiled in a book called Meditations on the psychology of the strategies he used to overcome the loss of his loved ones, and the range of health issues, which he did. Stoicism wants us to take responsibility for the things that we can do in terms of our thoughts and actions, and to respond to the situations that are going on. It offers a more philosophical, down-to-earth, and sensible lifestyle, that will be able to help you in the search for a meaning to it, but it is also more emotionally stable.

The extent of philosophy reaches to which we will not be able to control it. They believe that once you accept the fact that life can be challenging and frustrating, you can lead a greener lifestyle that allows us to recognize both its strengths and its limitations. And remember, that you can change it and make sense of your actions.

Stoicism is committed to finding inner peace by overcoming the difficulties to be aware of the stimuli, and the practice of self-discipline, and to be aware of this in a short amount of time.

Also See: 10 Significant Differences Between Buddhism And Stoicism

5. How does it help me?

People struggling with mental health would use stoicism to act as an illusion of control and it greatly helped many of those who had anxiety or depression even. It helps students separate the past from the present. It worked as a philosophy that tried to rationalize life and not seek out to eliminate emotion or attachment but instill an appreciation for these by cultivating detached regard. Part of depression is fixating on failures in the past, stoic thinking can help by teaching from Epictetus’s dichotomy of control that it’s in the past and we have no control over.

It’s far from being a philosophy for only the bad times or when the world is in turmoil. Stoicism is for the everyday. It’s for people to grow a strong moral character and clear-headedness. They provide qualities to be able to be valued during those unjust times.

In current times, stoicism can also be beneficial for rising leaders or entrepreneurs. They need to be able to think rationally and form logical perspectives to be able to make any huge decision. A stoic knows exactly what they want and should have clear goals which would be presented through their purposeful actions. Many successful businessmen use stoicism to present authenticity for themselves, and leveraging their uniqueness instead of imitating. The well-known business CEO Steve jobs used stoic practices of contemplating his mortality/failures; he used stoicism to put those fears of failure in products and initiatives in perspective.

This isn’t the first time we have had a widespread disease, during this pandemic we can use stoicism to confront the risk and possibility of our death, as stoics believed that confronting our morality can change our perspective of life quite a lot. Stoicism can also help us understand that while staying at home can be quite frustrating but it comes with good reason, the covid-19 is beyond our control

6. Conclusion

Various people from all around the world embraced Stoicism in different ways. It focuses on the social responsibility of loving one another and helping others. Stoics are often assumed as unemotional and submissive by various people however it was a school of thought in roman and greek where it’s used as a tool that helps us direct our actions and thoughts in an unforeseeable world. It’s a classic misconception when people perceive stoicism as emotionless, they do feel emotions like any other human being, it’s just that stoics don’t get overwhelmed by them and act rationally. it’s not about emotions, it’s about the domestication of one’s emotion. The philosophy is of great help because it helps us to stay calm in difficult situations, pick the best reactions, and choose our thoughts. They try to direct every action for the common welfare, stoics try to set a good example for mankind. Not for egoistic ideas but as a whole. Even though stoics look at other people as indifferent they are still living beings. More than most of us today.

Main Image Source: Pixabay

Also See: 8 Stoic Philosophies Every Creative Person Should Follow

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Max Ignatius Atlas

I am Max I Atlas, founder and a primary contributor to GeoDiet.com. Welcome to my journey towards both physical and mental well-being, where we will explore staying in shape while rapidly approaching forty.

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