The Art of Stoicism


Stoicism is a philosophy that maximises positive emotions, reduces negative emotions, and helps individuals to hone their characters

Control the controlables

As we travel through our daily lives, there are things that will happen that will be out of our control.

No matter how much we moan about them and expend energy cursing them, these things will never change because they are beyond the realms of our control. We cannot control the weather, other people, and world events, for example.

When we are able to accept that fact, and instead turn our energies and focus onto the things that we are able to control – that’s when you can become happier. You’ll also be able to claw back the time and energy that you spent cursing the things that you couldn’t change, and put them to better use.


Reflecting on the day that has passed and learning from it is one aspect of journalling that provides us with wisdom and introspection.

Its power lies in the repeated diligence and concentration required to complete a daily journal. It builds routine into your life, which makes you feel secure, but it also helps build self-discipline.

Repeating this long-term will also allow you to reflect on patterns of mistakes and bad influences that you make throughout life, and to

Practise adversity

Being comfortable in your life can often lead to a feeling of entrapment in that you worry about if and when it’s going to be taken away from you.

Fear and worry often lie in the unknown – and the uncertainty that life brings.

This brings us then to the notion of practising adversity. Take time once a month to live without the luxuries and trappings that we have in life and then ask ourselves if this is really what we are afraid of.

This removes the fear and anxiety that comes from the uncertainties of life.

Change perceptions

When problems in life arise, as they invariably do, we often catastrophise and think the worst.

What we often miss is the opportunities to benefit from these problems. These can come in the form of learning, so for example, we have the opportunity to learn patience and understanding if we are dealing with an unruly child.

Turning obstacles into opportunity and it’s down to you to change your perception of the ‘problem’ into one of opportunity.

Be humble

There are many in the world who overestimate their importance in other people’s existence.
Of course, we retain our importance in other people’s lives – family, friends and so forth. But by retaining a humble quality, you will never have to fear falling from a great height. Being a good person and doing the right thing in every moment will ease your mind and make life better for everyone.

Take a bird’s eye view

Stepping away from ourselves and looking at things ‘from above’ can help us realise how much time we worry about things that are probably out of our control.

When man first started exploring space, one of their overriding comments was how small and insignificant Earth looked from space. The astronomer Carl Sagan famously pointed out that ‘To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.’

When we look up at the stars, we realise that our worries can often carry us away to dark places. Don’t let your imagination become your information. Try and gain a higher perspective.

How will you be remembered?

Ask yourself this – if you were to leave this life right now, is this how people will remember you for the rest of their lives?

Asking yourself this question alerts you to the fact that you have to live in the moment, and to be the best version of yourself in every moment. Mortality will come to us all and none of us know when.

Remembering this morbid fact will serves to remind us to make the most of each moment and each day.

Prepare for adversity

One stark fact of life is that it’s never fair. Setbacks, large and small, are part and parcel of our existence.

Planning for things that can go wrong works on both an emotional and practical level. It prepares our minds so that when things do invariably go wrong, we’ve anticipated it and can swing into action.

On a practical level, it also gives us a chance to have a backup plan that we can implement immediately, leaving us feeling calmer and more in control.

Making the most of the moment

Treating everything that happens to us in life with equality means that we learn to embrace the opportunities presented to us in challenges in the same way that we can enjoy the happier moments in life.

Making the most of what we do have instead of wasting time and energy moaning about the things we don’t have frees you up to enjoy your life. There is a famous quote that says that if a man is not happy for the cup of coffee he has in the morning, he won’t be happy for the luxury yacht that he treats himself to.