Seeking Serenity Through Stoicism

Aiming for Ataraxia

"The Stoics believe that everything around us operates according to a web of cause and effect, resulting in a rational structure of the universe which they call Logos. And while we may not always have control over the events affecting us, we can have control over how we approach things."

-- Massimo Pigliucci, "The philosophy of Stoicism," a TED-Ed Original

I believe and try to live by this philosophy. I used to be a very emotional and impulsive person, quick to let my feelings overpower logic. I might have even, more than once, proudly proclaimed that my heart ruled over my head! For years I experienced anger, frustration, and sadness—often blaming them on other people, or events, or bad luck—before I realized that my own attitudes and reactions to circumstances beyond my control caused such negative emotional outcomes.

For someone who deeply believed that happiness, satisfaction, and success had to equate with having control over everything all the time, letting things just be seemed very complicated and out of reach. But, having a little bit of patience (mostly with myself), practicing self-awareness, accepting things and people as they are, and learning when to let things go have helped me gain a more tolerant disposition and peaceful existence.