Hello there, and happy 2018! This year, I have decided to go through this book: The Daily Stoic. The book has an interesting concept. It contains 366 “meditations on wisdom, perseverance, and the art of living”. Thus, it has one short passage to read and meditate about every day.
I tried to go through the book in 2017 but I abandoned it by February for diverse reasons. However, this year I thought that it would be a nice idea to write a short post about my thoughts on every passage, as a way of commitment.
In order not to clutter the main blog page, I will write these posts in a separate page here. You can follow along by visiting that page every day.
The Daily Stoic and Stoicism
Stoicism is a school of thought and a philosophy that developed during the 3rd century AD. It was specially relevant during the Roman and Greek periods. Its most well-known representative were Seneca and Epictetus.
After the 20th century, the stoic movement revived in the form of Modern Stoicism, a sort of Stoicism adapted to the modern times. Except for some clarifications and quibbles, both variants contain the same basic ideas.
The basic concept behind Stoicism is that the path to happiness involves accepting our current situation, the current moment, as is. Stoicism tries to prevent you from being controlled by emotions like fear, angst or pleasure. Instead, stoics aim to use their conscious minds to understand the world, themselves, and treat others in a fair and just manner.
This doesn’t mean that stoics repudiate or deny their feelings. They just don’t let them take over their lives.
My goal with these posts is to share my thoughts about these daily stoics in a personal way, with my objections, feelings and own experiences.
Daily Stoic, Jan 1st. Control and Choice.
The single most important practice in Stoic philosophy is differentiating between what we can change and what we can’t. What we have influence over and what we do not.
The first daily stoic is actually a tricky one.
While there are clear cases, like a snow storm preventing us from celebrating the Christmas Season with our family, others are not that simple.
In my opinion, a lot of what happens to us everyday is profoundly affected by the decisions we made in the past. The sum of all those decisions has an enormous influence in what will happen to us today.
As a naive example, let’s say that I spent my youth partying and didn’t care about studying or going to college. If today I’m trying to find a job for three months and can’t find anything, I can’t blame the labor market alone. It’s me who’s to blame.
Thus, apart from purely external, random events (forces of nature, accidents, etc), I would say that most events are the result of our actions. That, of course, doesn’t mean that we are in control of them anymore. We certainly cannot undo those choices, but we can change our decisions to influence the future.
One of my resolutions for the new year is reading The Daily Stoic, a book containing 366 meditations on modern Stoicism. I tried past year but abandoned early on, so as a way of forcing me to finish it, I have decided to write one short post with my thoughts about every passage.
What do you think about today’s passage? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment.