1.the endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and without complaint.
synonyms: patience, forbearance, resignation, fortitude, endurance, acceptance, tolerance, phlegm“she accepted her sufferings with remarkable stoicism”
an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge, and that the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.Stoicism for me:One morning last year, I noticed my boyfriend reading a book by Marcus Aurelius. It was Meditations. He shared a page from the book with me and went on to explain his love for stoicism.After reading a few pages of Meditations, the word peaceful popped into my head. The notions sounded peaceful but truthfully, it sounded unattainable for someone like me. Someone who at times can be a hot-head, passionate and eager to make rights out of wrongs- guilty of caring too much what others think, do or say.
I could see how this Stoic mentality provided my boyfriend with an ability to not stress during hard times, remain unbothered by words or actions of others and (most of all) never complain… all while keeping a humble, grateful attitude. I wanted that for myself. I work hard on my physical health but I needed a new approach to bettering my mental and emotional health.
I saw the value of implementing a Stoic mentality into my life. Stoicism is truly a lifestyle change, one that I have definitely not yet perfected. However, it’s about progress over perfection.
The biggest misconception I had about Stoicism is I thought it was about disregarding your feelings and emotions. That’s not it, it’s more about acknowledging those stresses, fears, frustrations and all emotions that hold us back. Acknowledge them and then strip them of their power. Becoming Stoic isn’t about ignoring feelings, it’s about not letting them tear you down, haunt you and disable you from being the happiest version of yourself.
The greatest thing I try to practice that I’ve learned through Stoicism is:
“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.”— Marcus Aurelius
This resonated with me because I battle a bit of anxiety but even more so because when you stop and think about it…
— Everything we feel, process, worry or stress over is all self inflected. Yes, others can say or do hurtful things but it’s within our own power to not let these things hurt us (“no sticks and stones”). It’s not simple to disregard stresses or people, it takes practice.
I struggle with this one often but reading quotes written by true Stoics serve as reminders and guidance to a more peaceful path (not less resistant just a more peaceful destination).
Over the next few months, he and I would read the meditations of the day with our coffee in the mornings. It was a positive way to start the day. One morning, I stumbled upon the instagram page of two brothers from Brooklyn that run a page called Stoic Elite. GAME – CHANGER!Meet Stoic Elite:
This is Mike.
This is Nick.
Together … they make up Stoic Elite. Through their page, I have daily reminders on how to keep a healthy, strong and grateful mind. For any moment I find myself about to complain, give up, worry or get mad … I visit their page. I take advantage of their stories that include challenges of the day, fierce quotes to live by, book club and their daily gratitude walks.
I’m so thankful we found these guys’ page and for the positivity, authenticity and truths they share everyday.
I had the opportunity to interview them this week….
What Stoic Elite had to say:
1) What does stoicism do for you that brings value to your health?
A healthy mind is a healthy life. Stoicism serves a simple framework to keep our minds balanced from moment to moment, which allows us to make the simple but sometimes difficult decisions that keep our bodies healthy.2) Can you explain the circumstances that inspired you both to leave your jobs to create a non-profit organization?When we naively quit our jobs in 2016, creating a non-profit was NOT in the plans. We quit because we felt unfulfilled with our work and knew there had to be more to life. We didn’t know what the hell we were doing when we first took the entrepreneurial leap of faith. All we knew was that we wanted to make the world a better place. We went from one failed business venture to the next until we finally caught a lucky break. A venture capitalist in Silicon Valley came across a video that Mike and I posted on our Facebook page. The video, which was a fun family project, featured us and our family handing out blankets and inspirational handwritten notes to the homeless of NYC. We expected nothing other than to inspire our small community of friends on Facebook to give back. But this venture capitalist saw something we didn’t. He got us to see and believe in the potential of our simple idea. Looking back on the experience, it’s a clear sign that the wise words Steve Jobs left behind for us are true:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”3) What skills has stoicism helped you master?Most of all, mental toughness. The ability to keep a balanced mind in the midst of adversity.
4) What’s the hardest experience in your life that stoicism helped you overcome?Failing as entrepreneurs was no easy pill to swallow. There were several times throughout the process that we just wanted to quit. The feeling of uncertainty was so bad one day I remember Mike standing over the toilet and dry-heaving. Stoicism would always help get us back to our center and give us the mental resolve to fight another day.5) What does your daily routine look like that helps you keep a healthy mind and body?AM Routine:1) Move (Body) –
2) Meditate/Philosophy (Spirit)-
- 5:45 AM Crossfit Class that kicks our ass first thing in the morning.
- Stretch after class
3) Plan/Prioritize (Mind) –
- Meditate for 30 mins (Vipassana Meditation)
- followed by some Spiritual Reading (Ex: Tao te Ching, Ancient Stoic txt, Power of Now)
6) If you could pick 3 people who everyone should follow on social media- who would they be? And why?
- Review Long-term vision/goals
- Review Short-term goals which help set the priorities for the day ahead
- @RayDalio– He’s a modern-day stoic with real results. He takes a scientific approach to personal development (i.e. he uses machine learning to make better decisions), and each day on his IG page he shares a new life principle inspired by his personal experiences. Def worth checking out.
- @ThinkGrowProsper– An inspirational IG account run by Rubin Chavez. His page has served as a model for us to follow. The fact that he’s accumulated 3M followers on IG is a clear sign that he’s providing a ton of value on a consistent basis.
- @JayShetty– A former monk with a mission to make wisdom go viral. He does a great job of passing on knowledge through storytelling, which makes learning fun and simple. Also just love his accent.
THANK YOU STOIC ELITE!
HEALTH/FITSPO – A HEALTHY MINDSET WITH STOIC ELITE
What the hell is stoicism?