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Flashcards in Stoicism 101 Deck (22):

The Cast of Characters

Zeno, Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius



Founder of Stoic philosophy ~300 BC



Tutor to Nero. Letters from a stoic, on the shortness of life



Former slave turned leading philosopher
Leading teacher of ancient Rome
Taught with intensity
The Enchiridion
Influenced Marcus Aurelius


Marcus Aurelius

Roman emperor-philosopher
Meditations (to himself)



Well-being, mental health, flourishing
Best friend with your inner Daimon
The inner you
The other part of you that is watching you
Your conscience
Your soul
Your relationship with your inner Daimon is your most important relationship
Influenced Christianity
Must live with virtue



The inner you
The other part of you that is watching
Your conscience
Your soul


4 Virtues




Knowledge of life
Knowing how to live
Enlightened living



Sense of integrity
Sense of righteousness
Living in integrity with your highest ideas



Vitalizes all other virtues



On great terms with inner Daimon
Able to do what you need to do, what you want to do, what you must do



Expressing the highest version of yourself


Philosopher = Warrior of the Mind

Are you a librarian of the mind or a warrior of the mind?
From theory to practice; build muscle tone in your mind
Lean into the battle
What can you do to get yourself into action?
How could you train your mind to apply the wisdom?
Lover of wisdom
Wisdom = the knowledge of life
Basis of modern cognitive therapy
Stoics despised rhetoric
Live your ideas
Despise rhetoric
Move from theory to practice
Don’t be so nice. Be authentic
Intense, hard-driving wisdom
Emotional stability – a trained mind
Proper emotion. No irrational emotion


No. 1 Rule of Stoicism

Something's are in your control
Other things are not in your control
Purpose of stoicism is to identify each
Care exclusively about what is in your control
The only thing in your control
o Living with virtue
o Controlling your thoughts and behaviors
Focus – identify what is in your control
Indifference – identify what is not in your control
If something happens to you, you can always choose how to think, react and feel about it
How do you choose to show up and think about your relationships and how you react/behave
This happened, you chose to think about it a certain way, therefore you felt a certain way
o This is cognitive behavior thereby
Dispute your irrational or inaccurate thoughts
Stimulus and response.
o Choose the most empowered response
Practice this all the time!
Indifferent to everything else





Energized Tranquility

Know your way and walk it
Be clear on this
Don’t second guess your self
Don’t compare yourself to others
Tranquility: Know your path
o Play it well
Energized: Know your fundamentals
o Eating, moving, sleeping
Play your given role well
Fate – we’ve all been assigned a role. We’re here to discover our role
Live in integrity with our higher self
Play that role well
I’m going to embrace this role and play it as well as I can
Look at the role that you have been asked to be at this time – parent, manager, leader, etc.
Be that. Walk that path. Play as powerful and fully as you can with a sense of inner tranquility
Calm, confidence
Do the basic things that keep you energized (eat, move, sleep)


Reserve Clause

If fate will have it
God willing
Gives confidence and calmness
Focus on the process
o Where do you find it hard to let go and at which point should you let go – because it is out of your control?
A way to discipline yourself, ground yourself
We will do this but it will be hard
Absolute certainty – absolute terror
Nothing is certain
o An archer
o Responsible for shooting the arrow straight
Not responsible for hitting the target
o Wind, etc. could impact the flight of the arrow
Have goals but focus on process
Do your best, forget the rest
Letting go of our attachment to the outcomes


The Art of Acquiescence

Thy will be done
Love what is
It’s not a good idea to argue with God, the universe or reality
You will lose
Before you act, you have a reserve clause – God willing
After you act, you have the art of acquiescence. Acceptance of the outcome
Combine “God willing” with “thy will be done” and your bullet proof
The stoic idea to be energized, yet tranquil and not attached
The opposite is “god dammit”
Loving what is
You can only control your thoughts and behavior and thereby influence the next moment but you cannot control it
You have influence, you do not have control over others


Equanimity Game

When life hits you, how fast can you get up again?
What knocks you down?
How long does it take you to get up again?
What helps you find your balance?
Practice this
o You’re not always at your highest point
o Absolute perfection, absolute terror
o How fast can you recover?
o How fact can you get back up?
o That is the most creative act
OMMS – obstacles make me stronger
o Phrases are a way to change our minds
Heroic warrior of the mind
Our body’s, our minds, adapt with pressure – within reason
The wind fuels a fire and extinguishes a candle


I Don’t Care

We care so deeply about living our virtuous self that we don’t care about trivial things
I don’t know and I don’t care
What do you want to care less about?
How do you want to do that?
Don’t be distracted
If your attention is on the world around you, you will not be in touch with your inner Daimon
Why care what people think of you?
The worse a person is, the less he feels it
Why care what someone thinks of you if they don’t like themselves
I don’t care what other people think
I’m prepared to be iconoclastic
o Smashing icons


The Ideal Sage

Who is your ideal heroic sage?
o What makes him/her special?
Who inspires you?
What would my favorite hero do?
Socrates was an ancient hero
What would the highest version of you do right now?