What Is Stoicism? The Goals of Life and Philosophy Explained

Stoicism is a Hellenistic philosophy that's been around for over 2,300 years, and it has the potential to change your life.

Some liken Stoicism to an "operating system" for the mind. It's a philosophy that helps you make better decisions and stay calm, regardless of what happens in life.

And no, being Stoic does not make you emotionless; to the contrary! After reading this article you’ll know what Stoicism has to offer, and how adopting the Stoic worldview can benefit you.

But why should an ancient Greek philosophy interest you? Don’t we have enough philosophies and religions as it is? 

Stoic philosophy is a unique approach to life. It contains wisdom that's been hidden for many Westerners, but that's still alive and kicking in Eastern philosophy.

Yes, Stoicism contains ideas found in other wisdom philosophies like Buddhism and Taoism. How’s that possible? 

It's because ancient Stoic philosophers understood the human mind, and came to similar conclusions as other ancient philosophers around the world.

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Why We All Need a Philosophy for Life

We all need guidance in life.

We're not given a manual when we become adults, yet we're expected to know how to navigate life.

Does anyone wonder why we're in deep shit?

Sure, some may look at a religious text for help. Others are into self-improvement to get the most out of life. But very few people are happy. Their approach to life is not working for them.

How does life feel to you?

Being human, how's that going for you? Do you have any idea what the heck you're doing? Or where you're going in life? Do things work out for you, or do you complain a lot?

Don't feel ashamed, we all screw up.

But what if there's a way to make things better? Little by little, every day, improve our situation and our attitude toward others. And feel better as a result.

Is this possible?

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Welcome to a New Gathering Place, Practicing Stoics!

​For those who have been following me on Twitter for a while: it's good to finally converse with you in more than 280 characters. The launch of this blog has been long overdue, and if you give me about 15 minutes of your time I'll explain why.

This will be a long piece; part background story, part mission statement.

I'll start by introducing myself, and tell a bit about where I grew up, why I became interested in Stoicism, and how I struggled to understand the philosophy. I'll then move on to my analysis of the modern Stoic community on the internet, and propose a solution to the problem I see.

In this article, I'll assume you already know a thing or two about Stoicism. I don't expect you to be an expert on philosophy, nor do I expect you to be a practicing Stoic. Just knowing the basics is enough.

Ready? Let's start!

​In this article

  • Who am I, and how did I become a Stoic?
  • How I struggled to understand Stoic philosophy.
  • The problem with Stoicism in the internet age.
  • How to fix Stoic education.
  • The purpose of Practical Stoicism.
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Once a week on Monday I send out a newsletter with practical Stoic advice, links to the best Stoic materials around the web, and spiritual exercises that will help you live the best life possible.

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