The Stoics focused on a few things:
- How can we lead the best life possible?
- How can we become better human beings in our everyday life?
- How can we manage our mood effectively and not allow emotion to cloud our judgement, decisions, and thinking?
- How can we digest failure, turn it into good, and adapt when necessary?
This philosophy is geared to equip its advocates to remain levelheaded in the midst of life’s natural twists and turns. We don’t have control over what happens to us, only how we respond.
The main Stoic philosophers were Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus.
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote about restraint, compassion, and humility. Seneca, a statesman and adviser to the emperor Nero, documented his perspective on things like friendship, moral obligation, gratitude, the importance of daily walks, reviewing your day’s work, and rest. Epictetus was born a slave; with permission from his owner, he studied Stoic philosophy and went on be a founder of a philosophical school teaching Stoicism. Epictetus left simple but remarkable teachings, like the importance of mental contrasting, valuing forgiveness, and continually editing our lives to make sure our energy is focused only on the essentials.
These three men became mentors for me by way of their work preserved in essays, books, and letters.
What I appreciate most about the Stoic tradition is that it’s a philosophy built for the practicalities of life, not for academic debate. It’s not some impossible dialogue that only a few lifelong trained philosophers can digest. Instead, Stoicism is accessible.
What follows are lessons from the Stoics that have helped me and other creatives, entrepreneurs, and freelancers from my professional life, writing experience and coaching practice.
Read the full guide here.
*Note: This article is published for members only of Medium. As a member of Medium, you get access to exclusive stories and the audio versions of these pieces. Here are more details on becoming a member for Medium.
I don't get a kickback or anything if you sign up. I simply believe Medium is one of the last great places on the Internet for substantive storytelling, worthy content, and in-depth learning.
Hi, I’m Brian.
I wrote Upgrade Everything originally as a guide for myself. Once I discovered how well it worked, I figured it would help my fellow creatives too. My aim for this course is to simply help you do better work faster.