The Lessons of Stoicism

— Nicholas Vardy

“Here’s a quick summary of what Stoicism teaches us.

Lesson No. 1: Radical Acceptance:

Acceptance stands at the core of Stoicism. The Stoics tell us that we should accept unconditionally anything that is outside of our control. Avoiding the unpleasant in life is impossible. It’s best to bear the uncomfortable with equanimity. Amor fati – “love your fate” – as Marcus Aurelius advised.

Lesson No. 2: Focus on Yourself

The only thing we control is our perceptions. The key to freedom is to focus only on our own beliefs and actions. The Stoics admonish us to not focus on the trivial. Avoid gossip and rude, vulgar conversation. Were the original Stoics alive today, they would tell us to avoid all social media.

Lesson No. 3: Character Is Key

For the Stoics, character is everything. The only real value in life is to act virtuously. And this means living your life in a specific way. The Stoics counseled that we should do only what is right. Remain indifferent to criticism. Only the vulgar measure their self-worth by external things.”