Lessons from Our Predecessors
Stoicism: 5 Lessons From Antiquity to improve Self-Discipline
Stoicism is a school of philosophy that began existing in ancient Greece. It teaches to see life from the angle, that is full of power, high in morality and self-control.
The four virtues of stoicism are wisdom, justice, courage and temperance. Temperance is subdivided into self-control, discipline and modesty.
In this article, I would like to focus on one particular part of this philosophy, that is self-discipline.
Discipline is the fundamental action, mindset, and philosophy which keeps one in a routine and making progress towards whatever one is pursuing.
From antiquity, we have got lessons that allow us to cultivate strong inner willpower if you continuously follow them.
FIND WISE PEOPLE TO EMULATE
“Without a ruler to do it against, you can’t make crooked straight.”
Through this saying Seneca is trying to show, how important it is, to have inspiring people around us. More popular nowadays saying with the same meaning is:
“Show me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are”
Meaning here is the same: The people you choose to be around shape your personality. They can make you better, help to go through tough times full of difficulties or can cool down your intentions and criticize your actions, that eventually leads you to mediocrity.
"Show me your friends and I'll show you your future"
It is very hard to achieve big goals alone. When facing difficulties we need support and advice of the wise people. So please find one at school, club or maybe at church, become a member of it and try to become similar to somebody, who inspires you.
Your reality is made by your opinions
Your distractions are your own doings.
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
Try to separate situations in two groups: things that you can control and things that are out of your control. If you embrace what is out of your control and accept it, you will experience tranquillity.
You should always focus on the things within your control and have a contempt for the things that are not in your control.
You have power over your mind, but not over events. Realize it, to find inner strength.
Writing down your thoughts to find relief and take a closer look at your thoughts, memories, and feelings that you had through the day. Also, it is a great way to have a closer look to yourself, find your weak spots and work with them.
- What did I do well?
- What mistakes I made today and how can I avoid them in the future?
- Have I got closer to my goals?
One of the most famous stoic journals is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
Seneca in Letters to Lucilius
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