Being an everyday stoic is not hard, but it does take a little practice. Having a daily practice is as simple as reading and thinking about a stoic principal.
Marcus Aurelius had a very extreme version of this. In his book “Meditations” he says:
Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil.
Keep in mind he was emperor of Rome when he wrote that. People were literally trying to kill him to take his place. But the wisdom behind those words ring true today.
If you start your day by centering yourself it will be harder for the events of the day to knock you in another direction.
Each day, preferably as soon as you wake up when you mind is most receptive and malleable to new ideas, remind yourself of the following.
Those simple thoughts, if you remind yourself of them daily, can alter your whole world.
Most people know they don’t control the world around them, but their actions say otherwise. Getting into petty arguments on social media, trying to make someone love you, honking at the slow driver in front of you in traffic. These are all actions that make us feel like we are doing something, but in truth we are just flailing about. The world generally doesn’t care what we want. It (and the people in it) are going to do what they are going to do. Fighting it usually only makes the situation worse for you.
Changing your mindset to recognize that your reaction is all you can control is a big yet powerful step. I’m not saying you run away from things, but you do need to make sure you give a measured and proportional response to things.
Avoid the social media fights. Make a loving environment for people you care about. Breathe deeply and exhale slowly instead of slamming the horn.
The power truly is within you. As Marcus notes, all you have to do is dig it up.
Once you tap into that power you will become a good person. And a good person doesn’t sit around talking about it, they just do it.
And so can you.
If you would like some inspiration to help you with your daily stoic practice, I offer you these resources:
Use them. Create a better you one day at a time.