Posted by: Dr Churchill | June 15, 2021

Be Stoic because your life depends on it…

“Love is key…

And the Love of oneself is a Master Key.

A passepartout indeed.”

— Dr Churchill

“A good character is the only guarantee of everlasting, carefree happiness.”


Stoicism as described by Seneca, in his master work described Stoicism as the ideal operating system for anyone who wants to operate in high-stress environments.”

Seneca’s “Letters” is a masterpiece of classical literature, that offers a compelling and accessible introduction to Stoic ideas, because the Roman leader, senator and author Seneca uses these ideas in order to offer practical advice on a number of real-world problems, and his guidance remains as relevant today as at the time it was written.

And even whether you are a founder, a political activist, or a senior politician, or a corporate executive or an emerging artist, a highly prized athlete or a Mr mom, or a female home-maker — Seneca’s “Letters” give you the tools you need to overcome setbacks and maximize your potential.

In the last few years, I’ve had to explore the philosophical system of Stoicism because my Life has been rather harsh and unforgiving, and although my preferred Stoic writer, Lucius Seneca, has been dead for a couple of millennia — I have found overtime, his help to be as present today and as a simple and immensely practical for me and for my life, as a simple set of rules to follow for anyone who plays the game of Life well, even if we seek a simple life or if we need to achieve a measure of excellence, grace and glory.

And if anything else — our life is going to become a far better field of honor and mission, and through Stoicism, we achieve great results with far less effort expanded upon our daily life’s routines, habits and mechanical acts.

This happens mainly because Seneca and his Stoic lessons do not deal with complicated theories about the world, but with the simple aim of helping us overcome destructive emotions and simply helps us “act” upon what can be acted upon, just like an entrepreneurial founder considers that life is all built for action, and not for endless debates, or for a “paralysis by analysis” long term safe lifestyle.

And it is through Stoic actions and deeds that we ultimately learn that Stoicism is a practical philosophy, with the simple aim of living a meaningful life, and thus becoming one’s best self within a really short time in this life, because the Stoics believed in living a virtuous life, one with the potential to bring us personal happiness and fulfillment.

And that’s one of the reasons a person may choose to live after that simple and honorable fashion.

After all, what good is philosophy if it doesn’t ultimately bring us happiness?

But in Stoic philosophy, it’s the pursuit of virtue and good character that allows us to get there.

For the Stoic, the pursuit of virtue is the pursuit of happiness.

If we can live virtuously, a good life will follow.

But what does it mean to pursue virtue?

“Live the Love”–Dr Churchill

Live the Love, is a good start and this is what we understand through the means of Love self and also your love-sharing with the world.

Simply put, acting virtuously means striving towards one’s ideals and becoming the best version of oneself, because by becoming the person we want to be — we will live a fulfilled life and ultimately we shall be happy.

Yet the Stoic philosophers also teach us that happiness is our personal responsibility, since the first and most important thing they say that we ought do — is to take personal ownership of who we are, and at what state of our lives we are presently existing, because it is only then that we could become the people we want to be, and find fulfillment and happiness in our lives.

With that said, here are some Stoic principles that can help us become better, happier people.

Stop Worrying About What You Can’t Control

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” –Epictetus

Despite his being born into slavery, the ancient Stoic philosopher Epictetus became one of the most influential thinkers of his time by writing his “Discourses” that are a collection of informal lectures given by the philosopher around AD 108 around Greece and Roman territories, as a gateway into the life and mind of a great practical and intelligent man of action that is not just a theoretical intellectual.

Because stoicism is built around the foundational idea that we can’t control the world around us, but we can control how we respond to it.  The Stoic reminds themselves that in life, there are things we have absolutely no control over, there are things we have partial control over, and there are things we have complete control over. The only way we can have peace in our lives is to accept this, let go of what we can’t control, and then focus on that which we fully control.

First thing is to consider what is that we don’t control?

We can’t control the world around us, external events, other people, nature, our genetics, or the past. To try to, or to worry about any of these things is pointless, and only makes life more difficult. It’s in our constant attempt to try to control these things that we end up suffering.

Suffering is our psychological resistance to what happens. Events may cause physical pain, but they do not in themselves create suffering. Resistance creates suffering.

The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to it as it unfolds.

Our unhappiness is, in large, caused by thinking that we control things we can’t. In a sense, this is like arguing with reality, and it’s at the root of many, if not most of our problems. So, first accepting that there are things we just don’t control is essential if we want to move forward with our lives.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

Let us now focus on what we can control, because if we can’t control the world, external events, or other people, what is left for us to control?

“Some things are within our power, while others are not. Within our power are opinion, motivation, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever is of our own doing.” –Epictetus, “Enchiridion”

The Stoics argue that the only two things that we have absolute control over are our thoughts and actions. We can’t control the world around us, but we can control how we respond to it through our judgements and reactions. Inevitably, things will happen in life that we can’t control, but it’s our perceptions of events followed by how we respond to them that makes these things good or bad. 

“Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own…” –Epictetus, “Discourses”

The most important practice for the Stoic is to differentiate between the two, and then to focus on what we can control: our judgements and our voluntary actions, and our choices. We cannot completely control what happens to us, but we can control how we perceive it, and how we choose to respond and react. That is where our power lies. 

“You have power over your mind-not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.” –Marcus Aurelius, “Meditations.”

Nearly two thousand years after it was written, Meditations remains profoundly relevant for anyone seeking to lead a meaningful life, because only few ancient works have been as influential as “The Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180), because he gives us a series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior. And thus it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflections ever written, or ever lived in the life of a man. A great man indeed, because Marcus Aureliu’s insights and advice on every subject rings totally true.

He speaks on point from the simple style of living well and good “in the world,” to coping with adversity and interacting with others and with self. Indeed his style of radical truth has made his book “The Meditations” required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being — Markus Aurelius’ book “The Meditations” remains as relevant today, as it was two thousand years ago.

Of course, understanding this is only a part of it.

What we must also do is remember it, because the more we remind ourselves of this, the less we will suffer from fear and anxiety, and the easier it will be for us to invest our energy and efforts into becoming the people we want to be. 

“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.” –Epictetus, “Discourses”

Let us now think about death because that is what joins us to Life now and frees us up from the fear of death for today and tomorrow… 

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” –Marcus Aurelius, “Meditations”

We all know we are going to die at some point, yet we live as if our lives will last forever. Thus, we waste a lot of time doing things that are unimportant and do us little to nothing to move us in the direction we want to go in. We waste time, and then we complain that we don’t have enough of it. All the while, death hangs over our shoulder with every second that goes by.

“It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.” –Seneca, “On the Shortness of Life.”

The reality is that life is just long enough to do what’s important to us. It’s short in that there is no time to waste. Our time on this earth is limited. Time is something we cannot get back. So, we mustn’t spend it on trivialities or the unnecessary. If we want to be happy, we must let the thought of death change our relationship with time. Let it teach us to be fully present, and to make the most of every moment. 

“This is our big mistake: to think we look forward to death. Most of death is already gone. Whatever time has passed is owned by death.” –Seneca, “Letters from a Stoic.”

The reality is that life is short if you waste time. Time is the one thing you can never get back. Therefore, you have to spend your time wisely. So, meditate on death. Let it clarify who you want to be. Then let it drive you to take the right actions, using every single moment to become the person you want to be.

The thought of death doesn’t need to scare us, nor does it need to depress us. Rather, it can motivate us. In fact, death is the strongest source of motivation there is. There is nothing quite as vitalizing as the idea that your life or the lives of your loved ones could end at any moment.  It creates a sense of urgency, and drives us to take action like nothing else. It motivates us to aggressively pursue what’s important, it fills us with purpose, and it also encourages us to act right. 

To be the people we want to be, we must meditate on our mortality, and we must do it often. Only through the knowledge that our lives will someday end, can we learn to truly live them.

We must be able to live with minimum needs and that is why happiness comes to us when we have far less needs and consequently want far less from the commercial lives of our world, and we stop wanting to keep up with the Joneses, or having TVs that create major inefficiencies and inequities of “want” in our life.

One of the most prominent lessons in Stoicism is learning to want less.

Because most people believe that happiness comes about through obtaining more of something, yet we believe that it’s in having more of things like success, money, fame, talent, time, or possessions, and once we achieve these things, we believe our problems will go away, and then we can finally be happy with our lives.

Yet, the issue is that it’s our incessant want of more that only makes our lives more difficult. We become slaves to our own desires. But the opposite is also true. The Stoics teach that we can free ourselves by simply wanting less. 

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” –Epictetus, “The Golden Sayings of Epictetus.”

Living a good life doesn’t happen through attaining more things. In fact, even if we do get all the things what we want, it’s never enough. But also, the reality is that won’t get everything what want. If we attach our happiness to things we don’t have, the unhappier we will be. 

“It is impossible that happiness, and yearning for what is not present should ever be united.” –Epictetus, “Discourses.”

Instead, we can learn to want what we already have. Life has given you a lot, you just have to recognize it. This is not just a matter of being grateful, it’s about being pragmatic. Look at what you do have, and then put it to good use. You can’t control what you don’t have, but you can control what you do have. True wealth and power arise from your ability to make use of what’s in your possession. What gives it value is how you use it, not just in having it. 

“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, “Letters.”

If you go about expecting life to give you everything you want, you will be constantly disappointed and you will never find happiness. It’s far better to accept it as it is, recognize what you do have, and then make the most of it. 

Yes, it’s ok to want certain things such as the essentials for a comfortable, thriving life, and it’s also good to have dreams, aspirations, and goals. You should be striving to improve yourself, your circumstances, and to build a better life for you and your loved ones. These things are part of improving ourselves and our lives. The Stoics aren’t telling us to eliminate desire completely, rather they’re just encouraging us to want the right things, to practice appreciation of what we do have, and then to use them to our advantage. Everything we need we already have. 

“Cure your desire—don’t set your heart on so many things and you will get what you need.” –Epictetus, “Discourses.”

We must simply simply simplify our lives…

Because stoicism, at its core, is all about simplicity.

It’s about simplifying your life in every regard, and living essentially. 

“Straightforwardness and simplicity are in keeping with goodness. The things that are essential are acquired with little bother; it is the luxuries that call for toil and effort. “ –Seneca, “Letters.”

The Stoics teach that what’s essential to a good life is what we control: our character. Our ability to create happiness comes from this. We must first realize that all we truly need for happiness is ourselves. 

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself.” –Marcus Aurelius, “Meditations.”

Yes, there are also basic necessities that we need, but most of us have completely cluttered our lives with things we don’t need. What we can do is cut everything unnecessary. Intrinsically, we think of first clearing material things, though it’s not just material things we have to cut, but also our thoughts and actions. 

“Since the vast majority of our words and actions are unnecessary, corralling them will create an abundance of leisure and tranquility. As a result, we shouldn’t forget at each moment to ask, is this one of the unnecessary things?” –Marcus Aurelius, “Meditations.”

We should constantly be mindful of whether our thoughts and actions are doing anything to move us forward or improve our lives.

What’s necessary, is only that which moves you forward and makes you better and happier.

Anything else is unnecessary.

So, to everything in your life, things, thoughts, and actions alike, constantly be questioning whether it’s necessary.

If it’s not, cut it out and never thin of it ever again… 


Dr Churchill


Indeed, there exist countless strategies across the spectrum of philosophy and self-improvement that can be used to create happiness in our lives.

Yet, although Stoicism doesn’t claim to have all the answers, nor can it tell you exactly how to be happy — it teaches us that we are personally responsible for our happiness, and it’s up to us to create happiness through our actions.

And since stoicism is a practical approach to living, one that doesn’t shy away from the reality that life is hard, and adversity is in its its very nature, and it helps us to know that instead of fighting this, running from it, or trying to achieve happiness as if it’s an end in of itself in which all our problems cease to exist — Stoicism teaches us to accept reality, embrace it, and make the most of it.

Indeed, stoicism teaches us to approach happiness as more of a process that parallels self-improvement and the pursuit of our higher selves, because it is only through this process that we can we take the necessary actions to become the people we want to be.

And ultimately — we are the ones that create the happiness we seek.

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