50 rules to live a good life from the Stoics - Kata Bojezs
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50 rules to live a good life from the Stoics

1. Focus on what you can control.

In life, so many things are gonna happen to you that will be totally out of your control.

But what you can always control is your reaction to those situations.

Focus on that, and you will be good to go.

2. You control how you respond to things. 

Victor Frankl also said, "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

That sums it up.

3. Ask yourself, “Is this essential?” 

As the popular notion goes, if it doesn't matter in 5 years, don't spend more than 5min being upset about it.

You only have limited time, so it's important for you to determine what actually is crucial for you in life.

4. Meditate on your mortality every day.

Death is a wonderful way to remind yourself that your time is limited, so don't waste it.

Death is what gives meaning to our existence.

5. Value time more than money/possessions.

"Earn with your mind, not your time."

Lost money can be recovered, but time, once lost, can never be found back.

Keep reminding yourself of this fact.

6. You are the product of your habits.

7. Remember you have the power to have no opinion.

Our opinions are based on the knowledge and experiences we have and as Einstein popularly said that "Knowledge is limited",

It doesn't make sense for you to hold onto your beliefs too strongly all the time.

8. Own the morning.

It's always good practice to kickstart your day by doing the most important tasks first.

If you can own the morning, you have a really high chance of owning the day.

9. Put yourself up for review (Interrogate yourself).

Question. Question. Question.

Question every last thing that is taking up real estate in your mind.

You will find out so many bugs and viruses that have been corrupting your efficiency lately.

10. Don’t suffer imagined troubles.

99.9% of all the fears you have are psychological, a figment of your imagination.

The more you run away from a ghost, the more that ghost will scare you.

11. Try to see the good in people.

People are not 'white' or 'black'. 

They are white and black.

About time we separate the sin from the sinner and start appreciating people for the good in them instead of always criticizing the bad in them

12. Never be overheard complaining…even to yourself.

The more you complain, the more you are cementing the fact that you are weak and helpless.

Stop complaining and start taking responsibility.

13. Two ears, one mouth…for a reason (Zeno)

The one who is listening not just for the sake of replying but to actually learn something new is growing.

Those who are simply regurgitating what they already know are living a dead life.

14. There is always something you can do. 

Stephen Hawkings once said, "However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope."

15. Don’t compare yourself to others.

You are unique. Don't insult yourself by comparing yourself to others all the time.

16. Live as if you’ve died and come back (every minute is bonus time).

Probably my favorite.

If you can actually consider your current life to be a bonus, not just for show, but actually, then your life will become a play.

You will be able to live the way it was meant to be.

17. “The best revenge is not to be like that.” Marcus Aurelius

Being indifferent and moving on is the best revenge.

Don't give them the satisfaction of seeing you being desperate to take revenge.

18. Be strict with yourself and tolerant with others.

You gotta practice self-discipline to live the kind of life you dream of and let others do what they are doing.

19. Put every impression, emotion, to the test before acting on it.

It's simple. 

If you don't learn how to control your emotions, your emotions are gonna control you for the rest of your life.

20. Learn something from everyone.

Everyone has gone through something that you haven't, and consequently, every single person on this planet can teach you something you didn't know before.

Keep your mind open.

21. Focus on process, not outcomes.

You don't control the outcomes. 

So, focus on what you can control: process.

Once you control the process, the outcome will automatically take care of itself.

22. Define what success means to you.

Define your own version of success, and define early.

Success? Wealth? Name? Fame? Happiness? Health? Peace?

The ball's in your court.

23. Find a way to love everything that happens (Amor fati).

Whatever is bound to happen will happen, 

So you might as well become comfortable with it to live a life you can enjoy.

24. Seek out challenges.

I don't need to explain this.

25. Don’t follow the mob.

Beware of following the masses, sometimes the 'm' is silent.

26. Grab the “smooth handle.”

Every situation that you face comes with two handles: 

- The kind of handle that makes you restless and disrupts your peace, 


- The kind of handle that helps you grow and makes you better and stronger than before.

Choose the right handle.

27. Every person is an opportunity for kindness (Seneca)

In a world where you can be anything, nothing will make you happier than being kind to your fellow mates.

It'd first change your life before anyone else's.

28. Say no (a lot).

I'd just leave with you what Warren Buffet has to say, 

"The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say NO to almost everything."

29. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

No, it doesn't make you less manly. 

No, it doesn't make you look weak.

Accepting your shortcomings and asking for help is a sign of strength and self-confidence.

30. Find one thing that makes you wiser every day.

Whether it's a book or a person or a video or an article or a situation or any damn thing, 

You gotta find something every day which is gonna make you slightly wiser than before.

31. What’s bad for the hive is bad for the bee (Marcus Aurelius)

If you are doing something that's gonna harm your community or your tribe,

Then be sure of it that it won't take long before it comes back and bites you in the ass.

32. Don’t judge other people.

Think about it, you yourself are not perfect in any shape, size, or form, 

So what gives you the right to judge anyone else on this planet?

33. Study the lives of the greats.

We humans learn by imitation. 

So, study the masters of your field, look closely at what exactly is it that they are doing that separates them from the masses, and then start applying it in your life.

34. Forgive, forgive, forgive.

You'd be doing yourself a favor by forgiving others.

You don't wanna carry all that hatred, anger, and resentment for the rest of your life.

Forgive and move on.

35. Make a little progress each day.

36. Journal.

Can't stress this one enough. 

I started journaling 2 years back which eventually lead me to start a blog which eventually lead me to become active on Twitter which eventually lead me to you guys who are reading this.

Just start it already!

37. Prepare for life’s inevitable setbacks (premeditatio malorum)

There is a popular saying that goes, 

"Nobody plans to fail, but a lot of people fail to plan."

Having a plan doesn't mean you won't fail, it just means that you will be able to handle failure better.

38. Look for the poetry in ordinary things.

When it rains, extend your palm, collect some water droplets, and drink it through. Now, didn't you become the cloud that was holding that water?

That's poetry.

39. To do wrong to one, is to do wrong to yourself. (sympatheia)

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that you can't possibly be happy and peaceful if you are doing something wrong.

We are all one single block, so don't harm yourself.

40. Always choose “Alive Time.”

"So many die at 25 but aren't buried until they are 80."

You don't wanna be one of those lifeless people who are just existing but don't have a clue how to live.

41. Associate only with people that make you better.

Life's too short to spend it with people who ridicule you, mock your dream, undermine your potential, and judge your every action.

42. If someone offends you, realize you are complicit in taking offense. 

You should be in charge of handling your emotions.

If anyone can trigger you and make you feel offended, then you essentially become their prisoner.

43. Fate behaves as she pleases…do not forget this. 

When you focus on the good, your fate looks good.

When you focus on the bad, your fate looks bad.

So, let fate do her thing, and you do yours. Everyone will be happy.

44. Possessions are yours only in trust.

You don't actually own anything, nobody does. 

Just because a stupid piece of paper says you do, doesn't mean it's yours.

It's only a belief. 

So, enjoy while you have them, but don't think you possess them.

45. Don’t make your problems worse by bemoaning them.

The more you bemoan your problems, the more painful they'd become.

The more you focus on solving your problems, the less grip they will have over you.

46. Accept success without arrogance, handle failure with indifference. 

Bill Gates said, "Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."

Failure on the other hand is your BFF in disguise.

47. Don't explain your philosophy, embody it.

There is a difference between knowing about something and teaching it to others, and actually applying it in your own life.

Try to be in the latter category of people.

48. The obstacle is the way.

The challenges you face and the difficulties that are staring right at your face are actually your access gates to excellence. Embrace them.

49. Ego is the enemy.

It's only when you dissolve the ego, can you actually be one with the universe and actually understand the true meaning of LOVE.

50. Stillness is the key.

You gotta learn how to be like calm and serene waters.

Every bad decision you make is a result of restlessness, chaos, and turmoil in your headspace.