The next article is going to be based on Seneca’s Notes about What Is To Live A Happy Life based on Stoicism Principles.
Today I want to talk about what is to live a good life, and how you can live one. Living a happy life is difficult and requires specific rules and guidance, especially in times of uncertainty like the ones we are living in right now with the paralysis of the economy and the whole system because of coronavirus.
There is nothing in the history of human beings that has been more discussed, talked, and less understood than the idea of achieving to live a happy life.
Walk Away From the 97%
What I mean by walking away from the 97%? What I mean by that is exactly what you just read; Leave the crowd if you want to live a good life and a happy life.
Why is it impossible to live a happy life if you don’t abandon the same path that everyone else is taking?
Because to live a happy life, it requires you to conquer yourself first, to know yourself, govern yourself within. Therefore, it is not possible by following others like Lemmings.
It seems like when you are a kid, you are creative, you are a dreamer, you are thinking big, and it seems like nothing could ever stop you on the way to your desires. Somehow along the way, someone tells you that all your dreams are impossible. Maybe it was your teacher, your best friend, or someone in your family tells you that you should stop dreaming that big and it is time to start being realistic. These kinds of circumstances are typically universal. It happens everywhere around the globe to any kids.
By the time you get older, you might look back at your life, and you may realize that you allowed everyone around your life to decide the destiny of your life because no one has taught you ever to govern yourself. Does that sound familiar to you?
It’s never too late to conquer your mind and to live a happy life. But it will probably require to eliminate a lot of “false myths” from society, and “wrong wisdom” from the traditional paradigm. Through Stoicism, this is possible.
Seneca, and The Story of My University Professor
Seneca used to say: “ I do not distinguish people by the eye but by the mind, which is the proper judge of the man.”
When I read the Seneca quote, the first thing that comes to my mind is a university professor of mine that I had.
He used to tell us a story about how it is more important to be a kind, valuable, and intelligent person and have a “normal car” then having a “luxury car” and be a dumb human being. Of course, what I thought back then was that you can also be helpful, valuable, and intelligent and still have a nice car).
His point here was precisely what Seneca meant: What matters the most in judging a person is by the mind and no by the eye. This seems logical, but it is quickly forgotten by society in general.
Why this small story related to Seneca’s quote is so important for living a good and happy life?
Because it is requires to develop a sound mind in order for a man to be happy.
So, to get a happy life, it is necessary to focus on the inside first before anything else no matter what are the circumstances around. This is the point that my professor wanted to make. He encouraged us to study hard, develop skills, and to create a successful career. Still, no matter the level of money we could make, he focused first on developing a wise mind, which he considered to be the most important (he was right, such wise man he was).
Living Without Perturbations To Live a Happy Life
To live a happy life it is necessary to avoid all kind of perturbations from our inner mind, be able to focus only on the present and to enjoy it, be able to prevent all kind of stress and anxiety that comes from the uncertainty of the future, be prepared to want more in every aspect of life but at the same time to be satisfied with what you have.
Everything great in life comes from what is inside you.
Another great virtue necessary to live a happy life is tranquility and serenity. It is a virtue founded within us, and it is never conditioned from outside factors but for what it is within you.
Liberty, liberty is a state of mind and a required factor to live happily. Without the feeling of freedom within the brain, you could have all the material things in the world and all the freedom in the world but still be a prisoner, feel a prisoner. However, on the other side, you can be in difficult times, you can be with your freedom restricted, and you can have a lack of materials stuff and still feel the sense of liberty because the spirit of freedom comes from inside of us, it is developed in our mind.
We are all living difficult times, a period of history in which the rapid growth of technology and political wars are creating scenarios of substantial uncertainty. Besides that, right now, the world is living one of the most challenging times in history because of the novel coronavirus that is hitting the whole system. More than ever, we as human beings, it is necessary to apply stoicism as a form of life.
If you haven’t gotten the chance to read about the basics of stoicism, please be free to read previous articles: