Stoicism quotes to help us navigate challenge and adversity and build character for better lives.
The Mindful Stoic
All Obstacles, Big And Small
When we talk about obstacles, we often think about big, life-altering ones. But small, ordinary obstacles also present the opportunity to improve one's condition. Doing all your household chores and cooking a healthy meal despite feeling especially tired is a worthy obstacle.
Urgency Not Hurry
Without frenzy. Imagine the sense of urgency you would feel if it truly were the last day of your life. To bring this urgency, yet without rushing or worrying, to your day-to-day activities is a superpower not to be underestimated. The urgency prevents laziness and the calm prevents error. Don't mistake urgency with need for speed.
The Importance Of Revisiting Your Plans
Planning is critical. The preeminent point to remember when drafting any plan is that plans change. Writing out plans is undeniably the best way to clear a path forward to anything meaningful, but it's crucial to set calendar reminders (perhaps twice a year) to revisit the plans. Be ultra critical and honest. You change and therefore your plans should grow along with you. There is no shame in abandoning (or modifying) a plan that no longer makes sense.
Build Your Opportunities
I discovered today that our books pages on the blog were broken due to an irreversible technical issue. These pages contained hundreds of hand-selected book recommendations and are a big part of the Mindful Stoic. Of course I was upset at first, but I quickly saw the opportunity to rebuild them even better. It's going to take a lot of elbow grease, but a big part of Stoicism is seeing the opportunity amid the chaos. Stay tuned for our new and improved books pages!
Virtues In Victory & Defeat
I find it particularly striking that the same virtues he describes here serve us equally in victory and defeat. I agree, and I think it's especially true for relationships. A victory is sweeter if shared with loved ones and a defeat easier to endure. Do you agree?
You Will Handle It
It's not so much the fear of the situation that causes harmful anxiety, but the fear of being unable to handle the situation. If you have a big, complex project to tackle, it's normal to have fears and worries. In fact, these same fears and worries often propel you to do good work. If your underlying fear is 'I can't' or 'I won't be able to', then that's when anxiety becomes more severe.
Marcus Aurelius On Justice
Justice may be the most misunderstood of all the Stoic virtues. People often confuse it with the justice or legal system of today. But really, when Marcus Aurelius or Cicero referred to Justice, they were speaking of compassion, selflessness, and doing things for the greater good.
Lessons In Failure
Even if you don't see it immediately, there is always a valuable lesson in failure. Don't be hard on yourself if you don't see it right away. It's universally accepted that failing hurts, but don't let the pain stop you from eventually seeing the lesson.