In short I’ve fallen for stoicism. During the January I’ve re-read two books on stoicism: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and Obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday. Also currently I am reading Ego is the Enemy and I will read the Daily Stoic.
Stoicism is a practical and applied philosophy of a virtuous life. If you cannot practice the thought or virtue, it’s not stoicism. Being a stoic means having inner dialogue, finding what you are in control of and then living the best life you can from there with no complaints about the circumstances or about results. Stoicism is about action, not about attaching to the rewards.
Living the best you can in the present, because stoic recognizes life is only in the present. Nobody can change the past, however with the action in the present we create future. Nor does stoic gets attached to the future – everything goes to the plan because we are creating the plan every moment as we go. Stoic cannot be thus harmed by ill will, because stoic turns any obstacle into opportunity or dies trying.
Literally stoic recognizes the shortness of life: memento mori – remember you are mortal.
It’s only now time to be what you can be. It’s now when you should start not only being, but start the doing. Be the doing you can be!
I decided to modify the words of Gandhi: Do the change you want to see in the world. Doing is being, do not just talk, start doing something about what you want! In the end we never cannot be still to long, we are never complete, perfection is just a day dream. Excellence is what we should pursue. Excellence means the best we are capable of with the given time and resources. We do not need to commit overly too much resources, that would be foolish, yet we need just enough to create excellence, the best possible solution.
Excellence requires letting go and yet finding ways to fulfill the need completely. Excellence is the practice of virtues. Every day we become what we can be if we practice excellence. The time to practice excellence is now!
We ought to live virtuous life. The more good we do and more value we add the more we receive. Yet the good we receive is always but a fraction of all good value we create.
When we combine the living virtuous life with selfless service we do in fact good without any expectance of return and through that we get unexpected benefits of seeing many good things happen when they need to.
We should look to do more good, to increase the value.
Difficult here is to contemplate on the right values, what is good? I.e. your own beliefs and values might collide with someone else’s. You mustn’t negotiate about anything worthwhile.
Instead we should work from what we believe and then create and give away value from there.
With less attachment we are able to, the more we feel like having. The more we give, the more generous and having we feel.
When we give, the motive isn’t merely to and expect return, but rather to do good without expectation. Doing good things to others makes us feel generous, and world will find a reprocicate.
What is the meaning of work in regards to life? Work is literally the meaning: by work I mean the verb of working. By work I mean the elaborate use of the word meaning literally all activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result.
As I was reading Bhagavad Gita today on the commute, I understood that too often we attach our minds too much to the end results: the rewards, fruits of labor.
Meaning of work is not the reward on contrary despite all we do and say, but the liberation to give and do without asking. By this statement I do not encourage slave labor, but to find ways to work without the expectation and attachment to the rewards.
Working is part of our nature. In Gita this is described as yoga in practice, however I found the awfully similar idea in Meditations by Marcus Aurelius where he says that it is man’s true nature to work.
Finding ways to work and serve others without any expectation of rewards brings surprising benefits that no fruit or coin can purchase.