The Stoics’ Secret to Staying Calm in the Storms of Life

Why Tranquility is a Choice (But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Easy)

What Exactly Is a Spiritual Exercise?

1 What To Do When Things Go Wrong

“What am I going to do?” “How will I do it?” “How will it turn out?” “I am afraid that this [bad thing] will befall me or that!” All these are the expressions of people who concern themselves with the things that lie outside the sphere of moral purpose (Discourses IV.10).

How to Apply This

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

2 What To Do When Goals Unravel

If a person has great anxiety about some desire, for fear that it will turn out incomplete and miss its mark…. [D]esire none of those things which are not your own, and avoid none of those things that are not under your control (Discourses IV. 10).

How to Apply This

3 What to Do About Life-Long Commitments

Did not Homer compose his works for us to see that there is nothing to prevent the persons of highest birth, of greatest strength, of most handsome appearance, from being the most miserable and wretched — if they do not hold the right kind of judgements? (Discourses IV.10)

How to Apply This

4 What About Death?

But if I die in so doing? — You will die as a good person, bringing to fulfilment a noble action (Discourses IV.10).

How to Apply This

What is it, then, that you wish to be doing when death finds you? I for my part should wish it to be some work that befits a human, something beneficent, that promotes the common welfare, or is noble. … If death finds me occupied with these matters it is enough (Discourses IV.10).

5 What About The People We Love?

Why did he regard any of his friends as immortal? (Discourses IV.10)

How to Apply This

Living The Examined Life

You should do this for “calm, then, for peace of mind, for sleeping when you are asleep, and being awake when you are awake, for fearing nothing, for being in great anxiety about nothing” (Discourses IV.10).

ILLUMINATION-Curated

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Sebastian Purcell, PhD

Written by

Philosopher. Analyst. Happiness Researcher. | I Recover ancient wisdom for modern life | sebastianpurcell.com

ILLUMINATION-Curated

Outstanding stories objectively and diligently selected by 40+ senior editors on ILLUMINATION

Sebastian Purcell, PhD

Written by

Philosopher. Analyst. Happiness Researcher. | I Recover ancient wisdom for modern life | sebastianpurcell.com

ILLUMINATION-Curated

Outstanding stories objectively and diligently selected by 40+ senior editors on ILLUMINATION

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