My small summary of stoic thinking and philosophy.
Lower your expectations and manage your perceptions
Everyone wears tinted glasses of expectations which alter how the world is perceived and interpreted. The lower your expectations, the happier you are. Most things are just relative. So take your easily-disappointed, high-expectation glasses off and pop the always-grateful, low-expectation ones on. Practice misfortune to learn how to take hard hits without losing control of yourself.
My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21,” Hawking said. “Everything since then has been a bonus,” he replied.
“Choose not to be harmed and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been.” — Marcus Aurelius
Only you control your feelings.
“It is in times of security that the spirit should be preparing itself for difficult times; while fortune is bestowing favors on it is then is the time for it to be strengthened against her rebuffs.” — Seneca
Know what’s under your control
Power or powerlessness? Being harmed and feeling harmed is not the same. Choose to not feel harmed. Your response can ignore apparent harm. Smile if someone screams at you.
“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own . . .” Epictetus
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” — Marcus Aurelius
“No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don’t have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have.” — Seneca
“You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.” — Marcus Aurelius
“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions not outside.” — Marcus Aurelius
“We are often more frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.” — Seneca
Remember how small you are. Most things don’t matter as much as you think. Be aware that your time is limited, so value your time highly. Time and health are two limited things. Spend them thoughtful.
Handling other people
Don’t force anything on other people, even if it is for their best. Do not judge people. Judge only yourself. Be tolerant with others. Learn to be comfortable alone.
“The primary indication of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company.” — Seneca
“It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.” —Marcus Aurelius
“It isn’t events themselves that disturb people, but only their judgments about them.” — Epictetus
“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill— of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, ‘He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.’” — Epictetus
“Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” — Marcus Aurelius
Talk less, do more. Act, then talk. Not the other way round. Don’t be too proud of your achievements. Accept your mistakes and take extreme ownership. What you think influences your actions a lot. Be positive and supportive of yourself.
“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” — Epictetus
“If anyone can refute me — show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective — I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone.” — Marcus Aurelius
“Receive without pride, let go without attachment.” — Marcus Aurelius
“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” — Marcus Aurelius
“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” Epictetus
“You become what you give your attention to. If you yourself don’t choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will.” — Epictetus
“If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.” — Marcus Aurelius
“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One.” — Marcus Aurelius