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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A week of philosophies, Day 2

Breathing in.

” Never had I thought that the scents I would breathe in would someday become the dire drug my body needed in order to exist and often be used to rejuvenate myself back to life. This was that drug that needed to be taken in your life quite often to know that good and joy still exists. It’s a holy blessing.”

 

Disclaimer: Experiences might differ from one indivdiual to another

It was a normal day. Nothing ordinary out of the blue was going to make an entrance into my life.

Dad was coming back from Kerala, after his short visit. So the whole morning was dedicated to his coming. Mom finishing all her jobs in a panic and hurry was a sight my heavy heart had to witness every day. This routine was the usual dose a morning in this household could have. So far, no screams had been hurled because it was just the two of us for now.

I took my morning shower and then proceeded to help my mom ease the panic and the tension. So the first task of the day was to put the old newspapers out for recycling.

Taking the papers in my hand, as soon as I stepped out of the flat, the scent of the corridors eased my panic and helped me relax.

I was happy, I was the nostalgia happy.

For a brief moment, a short movie based on my memory of the happy days in Kerala played. The scent of the corridors took me back to the mornings of Kerala, at my mother’s place.

It started with a house beside the lake. Early mornings, I could hear the temple sermons and songs. That was how the small town woke up.

Later in the day, I could hear the birds chirp and that’s how I woke up. The curtains danced along to the wind, the sun rays lighted up the room and the breezy cold wind woke me up. This alarm clock was one of the world’s best invention and creation. It was my secret and also that of the town’s. It was solely ours.

My morning started with the scent of the warm milk my grandmother made for me.

Then later, the house was filled with the scent of flowers especially of Jasmine’s. We had a small garden at the back, so when we left the back doors open, the smell of that small garden and of the green plot would make its way into the house.

Soon, later in the day, my grandmother’s cooking would take up the scent of the air and it was one of the holiest smell I could ever remember.

Then as the morning events proceded, each scent would follow and arise from different tasks.

The washing of clothes and hanging it on the open terrace had a different smell of its own. I loved every aspect of it. Whilst hanging out the clothes on the terrace, I was gifted with the view of seeing my small town at it’s best every day till I left.

We always came during the monsoon reason, so when it rained. It was a bliss and an escape from the summer heat of Dubai.

When it rained, the drops that would hit the green trees, plants and leaves had a very pleasant smell of its own. The earthy smell when the rain poured down is a wonderful feeling and emotion. The raindrops danced on the roof and provided music to everyone’s ears.

Going through the events of the day, different smells and scents would fill up my nose and my mind.

The days of Kerala always carried the best scents and memories.

That was the end of the corridor whiff.

Now as I stepped into the house, another scent masked the house.

The scent of nostalgia masked again, something unexplained. Another array of nostalgic experiences masked me again.

The old memories of Dubai and Kerala, the memories of my family was dug deep from beneath my heart and was played in my mind.

The early mornings of school flashed through my mind, my mom getting ready to come along with me to bid a nice goodbye when I step on to the school bus. Then would come the afternoon where the fresh smell of my mother’s food would mask the entire house.

The afternoon naps, the tutions, the night rides and walks also decided to make its way into the movie being played in my head.

Then the good memories of the weekend also made its entry. Early morning fresh Agarbathi’s lighted by my dad and a nice temple song to wake me up.

It always fascinated me on how certain scents and smells could trigger some of the deepest fresh memories rooted in my mind.

What I have always liked about this entire process and creation was that none of the bad memories and events that took place in my entire life made even the slightest of guest experience in this head of mine when these scents evoked my memories. This was one of those experiences that had pure goodness and only contained happiness in them.

Later then, I would start missing it all but I was happy that I had these to cherish and they were only mine to be. I was happy and grateful that all of it happened.

How can those same whiffs of scents be recreated when I am at a place far far away from the source? How can these scents be recreated? Why do these scents play back those memories? How and why are always the two questions I have and I have never found a clear answer to it till this day.

This intrigues me.

Despite all my doubts and quests for an answer, The world is a wonder and so is the universe and the galaxy.

These are some of the mysterious workings of the world that I like and would always want as my constant wherever my life takes me and at any age.