A week of philosophies, Day 3

This is a new thing that I am trying and focussing on.

Few philosophies that I like can resonate with, that can express my feelings or concepts that simply I needed to hear and be inspired by.

A week of philosophies. 7 different ways to look and learn about various aspects and views of life.

7 days to learn new, different 7 philosophies and incorporate these learnings into my life.

Day 3, September 13th 2018

Today’s philosophy: Stocism

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What is Stoicism?

“External thinks are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.” 

Marcus Aurelius

In simple words, Stoicism sets out to remind us of how unpredictable the world can be.

Stoicism doesn’t concern itself with complicated theories about the world, but with helping us overcome destructive emotions and act on what can be acted upon.

The Stoics focus on two things:

  1. How can we lead a fulfilling, happy life?
  2. How can we become better human beings?

The goal of Stoicism is to attain inner peace by overcoming adversity, practicing self-control, being conscious of our impulses, realizing our ephemeral nature and the short time allotted.

It’s important that we understand the obstacles that we face and not run from them; it’s vital that we learn to transmute them into fuel to feed our fire. But at the very root of the thinking, there is a very simple, though not easy, way of living. Take obstacles in your life and turn them into your advantage, control what you can and accept what you can’t.

To understand more in depth about the concept, I have put down a video that can make you all understand the concept with ease and clarity.

Origin

“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”

Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Stoicism originated as a Hellenistic philosophy, founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium (modern day Cyprus), c. 300 B.C.E. … The name comes from the Stoa Poikile, or painted porch, an open market in Athens where the original Stoics used to meet and teach philosophy.

Why was I inspired to choose this?

“How does it help…to make troubles heavier by bemoaning them?”

Seneca

We may not always have control of the events that affect us but we do have control over our emotions, recations and ourselves. That is what inspired me to incoorporate stoicism into my life.

I want to learn how to be calm and not blame the world. I want to know how to deal with life at its worst, be understanding and not let if affect me in any bad way, shape or form.

I wish to be calm, positive, think of the best in everything, learn how to not let things get to me easily.

I want to pratice the art of stoicism in my daily life. I want to maitain an inner balance and peace within me.

 

How to practice stoicism

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Some ways that I have found to be of interest and use that could help incorporate stoicism into my life and also yours.

  1. Early morning reflectionFirstly, be thankful that you have actually woken up, many people will not have this privilege today.

    Secondly, plan how you will embrace your virtues and avoid your vices. Pick a particular philosophical precept or a personal strength you want to cultivate and think about how you can incorporate it into the day ahead. Mentally check how you will deal with any difficult situations that know may well arise.

    Thirdly, remind yourself that the only things you can control are your thoughts and your actions. Everything else is uncontrollable.

  2. Meditate and make your mind at ease. Self retreat
  3. Regular self-imposed discomfort. It is, again, both a reminder of what we have and may take for granted. Negative visualization is a simple exercise that can remind us how lucky we are.
  4. You can use a philosophical journal as a tool to discover your own shortcomings and to track the way you change over time. By constant reflection we can improve our current and future life.
  5. The thinking behind this exercise is that every situation has many layers, just like an onion. Each layer represents something that we bring to the situation and not the situation itself. It’s only by considering the core issues without the relatively unimportant layers we add that we can act according to a proper ethical framework. Stop considering your reputation or whatever personal advantage you think you may gain as part of the equation when working out what to do in a given situation. Ask yourself the following questions:
    • What value does this situation bring to everyone? You might be surprised at how many times the answer is “none”.
    • What type of qualities does this situation require? If you have these qualities then great, if not then just think of this situation as a good chance to develop them.
    • Learn from your mistakes is the ideal lesson
  6. Bed-time reflection. Think about your day what has happened. Mentally replay your entire day and then ask yourself the following questions:
    • Did I behave according to my principles?
    • Did I treat the people with whom I interacted with in a friendly and considerate manner?
    • What vices have I fought?
    • Have I made myself a better person by cultivating my virtues?

 

For more info, do check out the below sources!! They do help and provide a lot more in detail

Sources

10 Insanely Useful Stoic Exercises

https://howtobeastoic.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/how-i-practice-stoicism-the-nuts-and-bolts/

 

Today’s quote to end the day

Objective judgment, now at this very moment.
Unselfish action, now at this very moment.
Willing acceptance–now at this very moment–of all external events.
That’s all you need. 

– Marcus Aurelius

 

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Movie Talks

A new series emerges again, a series where movies I watch inspire me and make me think about that the topic of the film and more.

Today’s thoughts are based on the movie, ” The Bridges of Madison County”. This movie is based on a novel.

Starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, it’s a beautiful well-thought movie that evokes loads of thoughts and feelings. It makes us think about the underlying feelings and emotions of love and family, and it’s complications.

How loving someone is so simple, but the relationship that comes along with it is complex. The mentalities of people, the responsibilities of having a family, the strains and limits that it takes on one, how difficult choices have to be made; ones that can even break you.

A love affair taken place in 4 days, 4 days that were of absolute bliss and perfection but it came crashing down when Francesca has to make a choice between her lover, Robert Kincaid and her family and children. It’s a tough movie to watch, and our hearts are always on the line with characters and the plot.

The end is a powerful and bold choice. She chooses to stay with her family, a sacrifice she made for her and her eternal love. She decides to keep her love aside and lived for the family, but she always loved him and will keep loving him. It’s a bittersweet ending.

It makes us wonder why couldn’t she leave her family and go with the man who makes her happy, the man who understood her, the man who she wanted to spend her life with.  A man who was kind and good of nature.

Love and connection like that only come once in a lifetime and she left that for her family. A great sacrifice indeed.

On the other hand, I do understand why she chooses her family. She knew she couldn’t leave her family behind, She would be leaving a whole other life she had back here to move on to a new different life. Responsibilities bound and kept her. I felt that she felt she owed it to them or maybe more, out of love but a different love, a love for the greater good of others.

I cannot stop wondering why she wouldn’t go with him? I also do understand why so she couldn’t go.

Why are families complex and robust? Why does one always have to sacrifice for the greater good? Why can’t one be selfish? But as you see once, one becomes selfish, so many lives are on the line. The lives you have interacted with and become a part of can be broken or are.

All it takes is a moment for an earth-shattering event to take place. A moment to make or break you.

Till the very end, I expected for a reunion, but I wasn’t given that. It got me thinking that’s just how some things in life are. Sometimes you don’t end up getting that. For some closure or out of pity, people tell change is good. Some change is good but what about the changes that we just cannot accept or fathom? We learn to be okay with it in the course of time.

We all live only once, why not do everything we love? We can but in this movie, she could but also couldn’t. Sometimes life gets in the manner and responsibilities, but we should and always ought to try our best in living the best lives.

Marriage is a respectable, caring loving yet a frightening institution, and along the fine lines comes the family. It still upsets me why she couldn’t leave, but as I said, I also understand why because I have seen it happen in real life but in a very different way.

It’s also the mentality of the minds that also got me about this movie, how we are raised to think of certain things and parts of life that are completely absurd and cannot be deemed as usual. We are expected to believe that life is some sort of routine and along with it comes certain expectations and moral are you are supposed to follow.

I do understand those morals have been established to ensure the happiness of the family and to keep it from falling apart but what happens if you are no longer happy?

What then? Are you allowed to leave it or continue living it for the family? Can you do both? But will they understand? Why isn’t there a fix to this? A protocol or a solution. Why do certain problems in the world that exist where answers cannot be found that makes everyone happy? Why must one get hurt and upset? Is this how the world functions and needs to work?

I do understand that there lie obligations, responsibilities and a life that you have build for yourself and your family, all on the verge, but if one isn’t happy with it, should we silently suffer for our loved ones, for the greater good? I know many people who have.

I know of many stories, but what I can’t find is a story that ends up with the person happy, with not many consequences, but I guess life is not a movie huh? Where one can direct and make it the way they wish to see.

We only live life once, and all this time, somewhere deep inside of us, we know we aren’t happy with it, but is it too late?

What if you realise that, at last, breathe of your life, you have a sudden epiphany that the life you have lived turned out to be the life you were never happy or genuinely joyous with. A life where one was unable to seek true happiness, joy and freedom. What happens then?

After we die, what happens? I don’t know.

Are our souls happy and finally free now that it’s over or will it be haunted by the life it never had and wished that it had? Will, our souls, roam around the face of the earth searching for that lost life or will it be lost forever without finding it? Will our souls depart from this earth after discovering what it always wanted or leave without finding it?

The answers are unknown, endless and of many.

 

I don’t know what will happen.

Probably I might have to be at my last breath to find out. 

 

I have many thoughts, many conflicting thoughts, many troubling choices and decisions lie ahead. For all of us, for me. I hope I can make the right choice without upsetting the world and myself.

I know for absoulte certainity that as the course lies ahead, I will be stuck at crosspaths, quite a lot of times. I do hope and pray that I can make decisions that will make me happy as well the people in it.

I also know that some or the majority of it might not be possible, but I am willing to try and not be afraid.

For the things that truly matter, I will fight. But if I loose? What can I do?

Perhaps I can be happy about the memory that it happened and then console myself by saying that certain things are not meant to be.

Countless other thoughts come into my mind and I cannot find an absoulute true answer that I want. There are always many sides to that thought.

I don’t know if I will ever find one clear answer to the thoughts and questions I have.  I do hope to find an answer that will make my mind at ease and heart at content.

Perhaps, maybe, there is not one clear answer but I do hope whatever I learn and whenever I learn will finally put me at contenment.

 

Or I might go searching for more?

The mind never stops working, does it?

 

 

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