Stoicism is probably the most relevant and practical philosophy.
The Stoics focus on three main principles:
- How can we lead a fulfilling, happy life?
- How can we control our emotions and desires since they have so much power of us?
- How can be develop habits?
It’s important that we understand the obstacles that we face and not run from them. We have to try to want the problems we face in life.
Accept that most of emotions come from within our thoughts.
“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Choose your friends carefully.
“Choose someone whose way of life as well as words, and whose very face as mirroring the character that lies behind it, have won your approval. Be always pointing him out to yourself either as your guardian or as your model. This is a need, in my view, for someone as a standard against which our characters can measure themselves. Without a ruler to do it against you won’t make the crooked straight.” —Seneca, Letters From a Stoic
There is life after failure.
“Does what’s happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness, and all other qualities that allow a person’s nature to fulfill itself? So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Knowledge is not useful until you can apply it and turn it into wisdom
“Don’t just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person. Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents.” — Epictetus, The Art of Living
Ask “What do I spent most of my time and energy on? Is this important?”
“A key point to bear in mind: The value of attentiveness varies in proportion to its object. You’re better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
The unexamined life is not worth living.
For a person who is not aware that he is doing anything wrong has no desire to be put right. You have to catch yourself doing it before you can reform. Some people boast about their failings: can you imagine someone who counts his faults as merits ever giving thought to their cure? So—to the best of your ability—demonstrate your own guilt, conduct inquiries of your own into all the evidence against yourself. Play the first part of prosecutor, then of judge and finally of pleader in mitigation. Be harsh with yourself at times.” — Seneca, Letters From a Stoic
You were meant to do great work.
“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for—the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?
—But it’s nicer here…
So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doings things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?
—But we have to sleep sometime…
Agreed. But nature set a limit on that—as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota. You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
“Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company.” — Seneca, Letters From a Stoic
“Not to live as if you had endless years ahead of you. Death overshadows you. While you’re alive and able — be good.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
These stoic ideas were cited from this link.
To learn practical stoic ideas, click here.