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Stoicism – The 10 Most Important Practices

Zeno of Citium

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early 3rd century BC. The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, the active relationship between cosmic determinism and human freedom, and the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will (called prohairesis) that is in accord with nature.

The ten most essential practices in Stoic philosophy are:

  1. Differentiating between what we can change and what we can’t. We will be happier if we focus on what we can change.
  2. Clarify your intentions; begin with an end in mind.
  3. Look to the future; the past is irrelevant (and gone).
  4. Money only marginally changes life. External things cannot fix internal issues.
  5. The more things we desire, the less we enjoy our lives – and the less free we are.
  6. Anger is a weakness. Strength is the ability to control one’s emotions.
  7. Hold no opinion about an adverse event. An event is neither good nor bad; only our opinion is good or bad.
  8. Uniting happiness with a yearning for what we don’t have is impossible.
  9. You are a product of the people you spend time with. Consequently, choose wisely.
  10. Ego is the enemy of our ability to learn and grow.
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