Adjust Course As Needed

I'm closing out the project.

I started this blog for the following reasons:

  • To introduce others to and create a community around Stoic philosophy.

  • Develop a daily writing habit.

I have done both.

However, I find myself wanting to write longer articles and focus on other topics in addition to Stoicism. I debated keeping this project going in parallel with my new blog, but I decided against it. I’m not too fond of the idea of having my writing strewn about the internet. So I am consolidating to one location.

If you’re interested in what I am creating these days, please join me at:

Practice What You Preach

Speak with your actions not your words.

Philosophy is not meant to be an academic subject studied in an ivory tower. Philosophy is meant to be a way of life. So do not just read it, speak of it, or write about it. Practice it.

Of course, there is a reason why it is called a practice. The Stoic Sage is a state of perfection that cannot be achieved. However, it is a standard to which we can strive to meet as we go about our life. So each day, practice the following:

Thoughts From Socrates

Ancient wisdom that remains true today.

Socrates (470 - 399 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher and considered a founder of Western philosophy. He wrote nothing of his own. We know of him primarily through accounts of his two students, Plato and Xenophon.

At 70 years of age, Socrates was found guilty of impiety and sentenced to death by poisoning. 2,420 years later, his words still hold.

Words by Socrates:

  • An unexamined life is not worth living.

  • One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.

  • To find yourself, think for yourself.

  • When the debate is over, slander becomes the tool of the loser.

  • True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.

  • Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.

  • He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.

  • I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.

  • Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

  • Know thyself.

  • Let him who would move the world first move himself.

  • I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

  • Be as you wish to seem.

  • Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.

  • The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.

  • The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

  • Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.

  • The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.

  • No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.

  • The really important thing is not to live, but to live well. And to live well meant, along with more enjoyable things in life, to live according to your principles.

Change Your Mind

Knowledge, individually and collectively, is continually expanding.

When was the last time you examined your values and beliefs? Why do you have them? Are they based upon your research, experience, and knowledge? Or were they inherited without question?

New information is coming to light every day. And not just to individuals, but to humankind as a whole. (e.g., the evolution of scientific knowledge).

If evidence presents itself that challenges what you know to be true, then change your mind! And don’t be ashamed or feel foolish about doing so. Instead, be grateful for the opportunity to learn and correct your thinking.

Prepare For The Day Ahead

A bit of evening preparation goes a long way in helping you minimize distractions and maintain focus the following day.

Don’t waste precious morning minutes on tasks that you can complete the night before. Instead, trade a television episode or social media time in the evening for a simple routine that helps you prepare for the day ahead. You’ll be less distracted, less hurried, more efficient, and focused the following day.

Here is a sample evening routine to follow. As always, use what works. Ignore what doesn’t. Modify as you see fit.

Map out your day. Write down (or put in an app) everything you need to get done the following day. Schedule your tasks. Work on the top priority item first thing in the morning.

Clear the digital clutter. Don’t get distracted by the things you worked on yesterday. Begin the day with a blank slate. Bookmark what needs bookmarking. Then close out all tabs, windows, and programs on your computer, tablet, and phone.

Put away your phone. Turn your phone off at least an hour before bedtime. Store it in a location outside your bedroom. Do not check it until your most important task is complete the next day.

Prepare morning beverages. Fill your water bottle and set it on the counter so that you remember to hydrate first thing in the morning. Add fresh grounds to the espresso machine. Fill your electric kettle with water. Set out all the things you will need to make coffee, tea, or beverage of choice in the morning.

Set out your clothes. Check tomorrow’s weather, and decide what to wear (to include workout clothes). Iron anything that is wrinkled. Set everything aside on a chair in your bedroom or a dedicated section of the closet.

Clean your space. It’s a simple pleasure to wake up to a tidy home. Put everything in its rightful place so that you wake up to a calm environment.

Journal. Reflect on your day. What went well? What needs improvement? What are you grateful for? Unload your thoughts so do you do not carry them into tomorrow. Set your intentions for the next day.

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