Virtue, tolerance, and self-control. The three defining pillars of Stoicism have become wildly popular in this day and age. What we know as the modern-day stoic is different from the adjective we use to describe someone cold and unfeeling. For Stoicism is not merely an attitude. It's a way of life. Join our 7-day journaling challenge to fully understand stoicism and how you can start applying this philosophy to your everyday life. Philosophy is Actionable Philosophy isn't only about giving lectures or reading long, thick texts. It is, in reality, something that men and women of action utilize — and have used throughout history — to solve problems and achieve their most significant victories. On the battlefield, in the forum, and in court, not in the classroom. According to modern philosopher and author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, A Stoic is someone who "transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation and desire into undertaking." Enslaved people, poets, emperors, politicians, soldiers, and ordinary people wrote it down (and practised it) to assist them in solving their issues and those of their friends, family, and followers. This knowledge is still available to us. Stoicism is the most practical of all philosophies. Even though many of the greatest Stoics never wrote anything down for publication, we still have access to their thoughts. Cato, on the other hand, did not. Meditations were never meant to be anything other than personal to Marcus Aurelius. Seneca's writings were just that: letters and Epictetus' ideas came to us via a student who took notes. The only reason these ideas still exist is that they were pondered upon, written down, and implemented by people who faced adversity. Thus, journaling things down is an integral piece of living the Stoic life.
Why is journaling a gateway into the teachings of Stoicism? In Book XI of Meditations, Aurelius wrote: "In writing, or in reading, be first taught yourself, before you pretend to teach others. Observe this much more in life." The more you write down about your life experiences, the better you understand what makes you - well, you.
In the centuries afterward, many people, whether Stoic or not, have fallen in love with and dedicated themselves to morning or evening journaling. And there's a reason for that: it works. It clears the mind, allows for peaceful, private thinking, and keeps track of one's thoughts throughout time.
However, the skill of journaling in Stoicism is more than just a regular diary. The philosophy is this daily practice. Getting ready for the day ahead. Pondering the day's events and reminding ourselves of our lessons from our teachers, books, and life experiences. It is not enough to merely listen to these lessons once; instead, one must practise them again, go through them over in their minds, and, write them down while feeling them flow through their fingers.
Journaling is Stoicism. Having one without the other is not possible.