The Fundamentals of Stoicism

What is it? And what does it stand for?

In an age where everything we do is online, it sometimes feels like the essence of what it means to be a man gets lost in the fog. As we live, we learn, and as we know - we grow. But amidst a sea of information, the overload can sometimes be quite a heavy burden to carry on a day to day basis.

Here at Black Knight, we've always been about defining what it means to be a man. This definition could apply to the past OR future. Meaning the essence of a masculine ideal should be a human ideal at heart.

This is where the philosophy of Stoicism comes in.

Like any great works of thought, Stoicism originated in Ancient Greece. At the time, Athens was a bustling hub of thought leaders and renowned philosophers. Zeno of Citium was one such thinker.

We're not going to get into the entire history of Stoicism (that could be a topic for another day). Know that it originated in Greece and was later used to guide armies on the battlefield.

Here's the TL;DR on what guides Stoicism.

It's about creating a theory that is simple by nature.

Information should have an instant-use quality.

One should not need to study to gain this understanding.

On aside note: Rather than specific pieces of advice, Stoicism is more like a way of thinking.

1. We cannot control the events that happen to us. But we can change our perception.

Rather than specific actions, this rule asks the thinker to meditate on how to go about handling an event. Whether the incident makes you happy or sad, know that the power returns to you by minding your reaction.

2. You cannot avoid suffering.

This one is pretty simple. Life is full of obstacles to overcome and suffering to deal with. It's pretty much unavoidable. What you CAN do, is choose how these negatives affect you as a whole.

3. Gain the upper hand on change.

While it is good to look over the past and reflect on its subtleties, do not dwell. If you're unable to change with the times, you will most likely be subject to someone who is willing - and able.

We don't mean that you should forgo the past altogether but use what you know to find out what you don't.

4. Good times or bad, we have a choice.

This one extends to anyone and everyone, from all walks of life. From the lower rungs of society to the elites, we all have a choice on how we think and how we feel. Like we mentioned before, whether good times or bad - always remain ahead of the curve.

5. When in doubt, look inwards.

If you find yourself in a situation that begs the question, how should I act? There's always one place you can go to seek the answers you need. Some turn to meditation to look within themselves, others, through art and music. Whatever your choice, always remember that what you need to know is always a thought away.

6. Paranoia and Fear are valuable enemies.

When confronted with a situation, it is always best to take a step back. When a situation is dire, fear is always going to come showing its face. While it is negative, please pay attention to where those emotions come from and what they're trying to tell you.

7. Humility will get you far.

Let's end on a more positive note. While you might think Stoicism is all about getting rid of the negative, the rules apply to good events. When things are looking up in life, always take a moment to be grateful. To humble yourself in this way, you'll always stay true to who you are and what you stand for.

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