Unraveling Stoicism: How To Control Your Emotions And Win in Life
Stoicism is the philosophical approach to living life. It showcases how to live life on terms that aren’t easy but somehow effective to maintain the socioeconomic balance. Since ancient times, men have been going to wars and taking on death-threatening jobs, which in turn helped them develop a slight inclination towards stoicism.
The idea behind stoicism is this: life is difficult for everyone, and there will be obstacles, failures, depression, and sadness lingering at every corner. The things that happen to us cannot be manipulated; they can only be dealt with. During an emotional outburst, the one who can control himself without displaying sentiments is considered stoic.
Every position of power demands a person who holds stoicism in the highest regard. When people with no emotional value reach a position of power, there is chaos. Why is stoicism so critical in today’s world? Because we have advanced weaponry that could annihilate every existence on earth. If the people who control these weapons are unable to their emotions, in a long enough time frame, humanity will be wiped out from the world.
The result of weak-minded individuals is catastrophic. Despite the threats at a macro level, the same effect is assumed at the micro level as well. What do you think happens when two people who cannot control their emotions get into a heated argument? Sooner or later, there is will violence. Hence, it is indispensable for people today to understand the philosophies of stoicism and understand them before they can continue living their lives.
The History of Stoicism
According to Wikipedia, Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BCE. (1) It is considered an ancient solution to modern problems. The central entity of stoicism is virtue. When people are dignified to centralize their virtue before action, they reach a realm of stoicism where no outside force can vandalize them.
Since then, stoicism has been practiced by various greek scholars and has been passed down many generations. Infamous stoic leaders include Zeno, Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius. There were many more stoic leaders in-between, like Cleanthes, Chrysippus, Panaetius, Musonius Rufus, etc. Due to their efforts, the idea of stoicism has reached us today.
Marcus Aurelius is one of the most famous stoic leaders; he was a Roman emperor from 161 to 180 AD and a Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors. (2) His book Meditations is the number one bestseller on Amazon and has been read by millions worldwide.
Stoicism Helps You Win In Life
Stoicism strives to make you happy and resilient. When nothing causes you pain and damages you mentally, the only thing that remains within is peace and calm; two critical factors that constitute happiness. When you are in control of your actions and emotions, the decisions you make are fair and just.
Phenomenal leaders share similar traits; they understand other people’s perspectives, speak last, analyze, and make the right decisions that drive the team towards set objectives. Any leader that deprives himself of stoicism cannot fully claim the title. Stoicism is not reserved for monks and people in the mountains; it is a way of life that every man and woman should adopt in their lives.
Most people understand the importance of controlling their emotions and display stoicism from time to time. For instance, Jay is overburdened with work by his superior without time restrictions. However, he consumes his anger because he wants to keep his job and provide for his family. Jay is willing to work long hours if it means he can put food on his family’s table. Jay doesn’t go home and complains about his condition to his wife, Jenine, because he understands that she loves him and would advise him to resign.
However, not complaining and destroying oneself from the inside shouldn’t be the outcome of stoicism. The primary result of stoicism is to accept the current situation, explore options, find the most suitable solution, and take full responsibility for the outcome that proceeds with the implementation. The knowledge of complete control and self-accountability will help you master stoicism.
Practicing stoicism makes you a better version of yourself. A leader is supposed to stay calm during a challenging situation, analyze the options, discuss the situation, make the best judgment, and own the outcome. Stoicism encourages an individual to harness 4 of the essential qualities:
- Valor: It is the ability of a person to strengthen himself and deal with challenging situations. It’s the courage to stand tall and hold yourself accountable.
- Self-restraint: It is vital that a person should be strong enough to restrain himself from things that strip him from his virtue. Otherwise, a man without an inner leash has no boundaries and will go to any lengths to satisfy his urges. Due to a lack of self-restraint, we notice crime emerging in every city of the world.
- Egalitarianism: Every person is equal and shouldn’t be treated differently for a subjective favor. When people embrace stoicism, they diminish the cycle of hatred based on differentiation. Hence, when ruling a decision, the outcome is prominently fair.
- Wisdom: An ability to observe, experience, and judge based on logic, sense, and erudition.
A person who harnesses the above characteristics is way ahead on their path to stoicism. Therefore, becoming a person with substance and understanding is a quality that is perceived in great leaders and human beings—which, in turn, helps them overcome constant setbacks and persevere until success is the only remaining outcome.
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