As you may know, I have started following and practicing the philosophy of Stoicism.
So why choose to follow it?
Looking back over the years, I can see that my life I can see that a lot of it has been influenced by Stoicism in some way and that each influence was leading me to where I am now.
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I started followed Buddhism. I did this for a number of years. Though for me, there was something “lacking” in it, and I couldn’t really put my finger on it.
Then I had a few personal challenges in my life, and Buddhism wasn’t able to give me the answers I was after.
So I lost faith in it.
A short time later, I purchased Dan Millman’s book The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior.
What he wrote about in the book made sense to me, and I ended up reading the whole series.
From there it was a slow walk towards Stoicism.
I did hear about it a fair bit, thanks to Tim Ferris, though I discounted it as one of those things that those who aren’t ordinary people do.
What really inspired me to look at it deeper was reading a Jack Reacher book by Lee Childs.
In that book, Zeno of Citium was mentioned.
Not knowing who he was, I looked him up online, and found that he was the founder/creator of Stoicism.
From there, as they say, the rest is history.
Being a practical philosophy I have found Stoicism to be useful for literally every challenge that we face in our modern lives.
From being stuck in traffic, to dealing with trolls online, to coping with the loss of a family feline.
The writings of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus, and more, seem to have thought of it all.
Stoicism was created in hard times, for those times.
What is really fascinating about Stoicism is that people at both ends of society have found use in it.
From Epictetus the former slave who became a philosopher, to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who was the most powerful man in the world. It even influenced and guided the life of the incorruptible Cato the Younger.
With names like that, it really has to be something worth looking into.
So, if you only buy one book this year, find one that will introduce you to Stoicism.
A tip from me, buy a physical book as you will be highlighting paragraphs and writing in it.
If the worst that can happen is that it makes you a better person, it will be money well spent.
This post first appeared on 17 March 2019 on CameronBlewett.blog as “Why Choose Stoicism“