A Stoic guide to waking up with a better outlook

Camping tent in the foreground with a sunrise in the background.
Photo taken from Rawpixel: Public Domain

Living is the least important activity of the preoccupied man; yet there is nothing which is harder to learn.- Seneca the younger

Finding purpose is one of the topics I’ve been asked about at least a dozen times online and something that at times struggled with too. For most of us, getting a jump start to the morning is vital to making progress with the day ahead, but at times it can be difficult to even get out of bed (especially in the long winter months).

I find that some people think that finding a sense of purpose signifies making…

Photo Credit: Brittany Polat 2021

Brittany Polat is a writer and researcher on Stoicism as a way of life. She is the creator of Living in Agreement, a website on Stoic moral psychology, and co-creator of Stoicare, an online hub for teachers, parents, medical professionals, and all Stoics who care. Brittany holds a Ph.D. in applied linguistics with a focus on individual differences in second language development.

Hi Brittany, it’s good to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions today. Will you tell us a little about yourself, what you’re passionate about, and how you fell into the world of Stoic Philosophy and Psychology?

It’s great to talk with you! I came to Stoicism the way many others do: looking for happiness. I was at a crossroads in my life, and I found that conventional morality (which mostly seems to value externals…

Guidance from the ancients on fueling your writing habits

A backpack, journal, and writing tools.
Image taken from rawpixel (public domain)

What good shall I do this day? - Benjamin Franklin

Daily reflections are nothing new and date back to ancient Greece and Rome, described first in The Golden Verses of Pythagoras (6th-century B.C.E). Nonetheless, we believe writing is easily one of the best vehicles for self-improvement which 100% coincides with the ideal Stoic lifestyle many of us aim to achieve.

You may find that the most common misconception about journaling is that it’s used solely for writing down your feelings or venting frustrations. However, used correctly, journaling is a way of keeping yourself in check, as it can aid in…

Five practical exercises from Stoicism to enliven your daily life

Illustration of a candle burning on top of a skull.
Image design by the Author, Enda Harte.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. — Viktor Frankl

I’ve previously taken an in-depth look at the historical aspect of memento mori (meaning remember you are mortal) including that of the ancient Stoic philosophers of who I wrote exclusively about, and indeed the people who are using it in the modern age, which you can read here in full if you so wish:

Now, however, I wanted to pay close attention and highlight memento mori from a practical standpoint. This phrase is typically used as a meditative exercise to tell…

An ancient Greek portico usually walled at the back with a front colonnade: Image from Wiki Commons

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things that are beyond the power of our will. — Epictetus

I had the pleasure of catching up with Ed Cowell a practicing Stoic who runs his own website and store which is based in the U.K. We talked about his introduction to Philosophy, what got him into designing products, and how Stoicism changed his life.

1. Hello my friend, can you tell anyone reading this a little bit about yourself and how you came to find Stoicism as a Philosophy for living?

Certainly, I’m Ed and I’m from Manchester in the UK. By day I am a software developer, but for a little over a year now I have been running a…

Ancient Rome’s answer to Socrates?

Depicting an Ancient Philosopher — Public domain image sourced from Raw Pixel.

You will earn the respect of all if you begin by earning the respect of yourself. Don’t expect to encourage good deeds in people conscious of your own misdeeds. — Musonius Rufus

If I had to choose one of the Stoics to turn to for inspiration in terms of dealing with adversity and in search of someone who was supremely self-disciplined, we don’t have to look any further than the man who is known or not?, as one of the four great Stoic Philosophers of Roman antiquity. Gaius Musonius Rufus was born in and around 30 CE in Volsinii (modern…

Four Pillars of Stoic Practice

Image design, copyright the Author, Enda Harte

Well-being is attained by little and little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself. — Zeno of Citium

The term Cardinal Virtues pops up quite frequently when you begin to read about Stoic Philosophy and whilst you may or may not already be familiar with the Cardinal Virtues of Stoicism, we wanted to highlight the importance of Virtue in the Stoic sense and how you could potentially put it into practice under the guise of the ancients who’ve already done so many moons ago.

The Stoics believe that virtue is the only key to true happiness…

To begin with, the…

Image design by the Author, Enda Harte

There are many analogies or metaphors I could use to describe the undisputed third leader of the Stoic school of thought. Given his background as an avid track runner in his youth and combine that with an insatiable thirst for wisdom, particularly the topic of Logic, it’s safe to draw the conclusion that this man was passionately responsible for Stoicism flourishing in Ancient Athens. …

My interview with the What is Stoicism? Blog.

The author in Dublin, 2021.

I answered some questions for What Is Stoicism? back in July 2021. I thought it may be useful to showcase how I practice Stoic Philosophy throughout my daily life. Special thanks to Allan for allowing me to republish this to Medium.

For those who don’t know you, can you explain a little about yourself and how you first discovered Stoicism?

I am Enda Harte, I live in Ireland with my partner and for almost a decade now I’ve worked in the Music Industry as a Digital / A&R / Tour Manager for Artists, Music Technology Companies & Independent Record Labels globally. I have a keen interest in combat sports, trail running and outdoor living. …

Matt photographed in 2017.

Bio: Matt Van Natta is the creator of the Stoic podcast, Good Fortune, and ImmoderateStoic.com. His writings focus on the daily application of Stoic philosophy in the modern world. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Hi Matt. Thanks for fielding my questions today. Firstly could you tell anyone reading this who you are, where you’re living, and how you fell into practicing Stoicism?

I live with my wife and daughter in Portland, Oregon in the United States. I have been writing about the life philosophy of Stoicism for around a decade. I’m not a prolific creator, but I’ve been at it…

Enda Harte

A music management consultant. Studying CBT, and writing about Stoic ethics and history. Creator of the forthcoming Stoic Reflections Journal.

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