50 Stoic Rules for Life

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When Truman said that “not all readers are guides, but all leaders are readers,” we got the impression that he was talking to us. We built our Daily Stoic Read to Lead Challenge around this advice from him, as if he were still there, not dead for almost fifty years. This is the beauty and power of books – they can bring the past to life, they can, as Seneca said, annex all ages into yours. If you`ve done that, you`ll like the Daily Stoic email. Every morning we send a short email (~500 words) rooted in the wisdom of Epictetus and other Stoic philosophers. Join over 400,000 people and subscribe to dailystoic.com/email I leave you with the one rule that captures all the rules. He comes from Epictetus: “Do not explain your philosophy. Play it in. These are your choices. And choosing correctly, seeing the bad things as ultimately good is all you can do. That`s what you need to do. Because people depend on you. Because you believe in your ability to do it well.

Because you only have one life to live. In this article, we will describe in detail 12 stoic rules for life. This is a long post. It should be bookmarked and revisited. It can be read directly or if you prefer, click on the links below to access a specific section: we can imagine that his own life reflects this analogy. He was an ordinary man picked up by Hadrian to become emperor. But he could have been dethroned in the same way at any time (and it was almost late in his reign). Did it change who Marcus was? Did this mean he was better or worse than the others? Put it into practice: Welcome everything life has in store for you today – the ups and downs – in the same way. This article is just a small selection of the type of lessons, ideas, and stories we write in our daily e-newsletter.

Every morning we send a short email (~500 words) inspired by Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus and more. Each email will help you cultivate strength, insight, and wisdom to live your best life. What for? That`s because Marcus knew that winning in the morning was the key to winning the day and earning in life. He wouldn`t have heard the phrase “the early riser catches the worm,” but he knew that a well-started day is half over. But the question arises: what does it really look like to win in the morning? What should you do after waking up early? From the Stoics, we learn 3 habits that make the morning a success: Journal. Walk. Do some in-depth work. Let`s look at each of them individually: things go wrong. It is a reality of life. As Seneca said, Fortune behaves as he sees fit. His own life was proof of this. A health crisis disrupted his career.

An emperor banishes him. He returned home. just to make it happen again. One way to get through life is to turn away from things that are difficult. You can close your eyes and ears to what is uncomfortable. You can go in the easiest way and avoid difficulties as much as possible. The other way is the stoic way – it involves not only not avoiding difficulties, but actively seeking them. Don`t talk about it, talk about it. The whole point of Stoicism is what you do. That`s who you are. It is the act of virtue, not the act of talking about virtue.

Or read about it. Or to write about it. It`s about embodying your rules and principles. Let your actions speak for themselves. Then Marcus Aurelius reminded himself and now to us: “Do not waste any more time talking about what a good man is. Be one. Avoiding hardship would mean withdrawing completely from life. This would mean hiding in ignorance. Even worse, it would make you terribly vulnerable to seizures if he ever found you. Instead, as Hadrian said, we must strive to welcome danger. We can rejoice in the unexpected and even turn failure into something by choosing to possess it.

We can learn from the disadvantages and even soften our dislikes. In the novel Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar Hadrien writes to the young Marcus Aurelius about his philosophy of learning and enjoying all the adversities and disadvantages of life. “Every time an object pushed me away,” he says, “I made it a subject of study and ingeniously forced myself to draw a reason for pleasure from it. When I was confronted with something unforeseen or an obvious cause of despair, such as an ambush or storm at sea, after all measures had been taken for the safety of others, I tried to welcome that danger, to rejoice in all that it brought me new and unexpected, and so without shock the ambush or storm was included in my plans. or my thoughts. Even in the turmoil of my worst catastrophe, I saw a moment when outright exhaustion reduced some of the horror of the experience and made defeat a matter of my own by being willing to accept it. “It would be wonderful if life never tempted you, if you could just walk day in and day out, inspire it and always do the right thing. But that`s not how the world is. That`s not who you are. If we are left to our own devices, with enough opportunities, we will end up wasting everything – we will drift, we will lose ourselves.

Put it into practice: take out a piece of paper and make two columns. On the left, list all the things swirling around in your head and compete for your time and attention. On the right, write “it`s necessary” or “it`s not necessary” next to each item in the list. Then, cross out all the unnecessary elements on the page and in your life. There`s never been a better time to go over your life and ask yourself questions about all the things you do, say and think, “Is this necessary?” “Does it matter?” “Why am I doing this?” “What would happen if I changed?” The founder of Stoicism Zeno was a young man when he received enigmatic advice. “To live the best life,” the oracle told Zeno, “you have to have conversations with the dead.” This is why the great ones have what Marcus Aurelius called “epithets for oneself” or what General Mattis called “rules of ace flats”. Know what you stand for and respect it, he said. Draw the line and hold it. Stoicism is in theory a philosophy. As a practice, it is a set of rules by which one can live. The Stoics believed that life was complicated – more importantly, that it was exhausting.

Creating rules, therefore, meant making sure that we stayed on track, that we did not allow the complexity and nuances of each individual scenario to compromise on the high and extensive standards we know we adhere to. After thinking about it and trying to fix them all for my own practice, here are 50 rules of the Stoics collected from their immense work over two thousand years.