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  • Dr. Dane Donohue

12 Lessons from the Stoics

For 2,000 years, some of the greatest thinkers and philosophers have shared their wisdom to help guide some of the greatest leaders in the world. Their thoughts and wisdom have stood the test of time to help shape the world. This video reviews some of the most important observations these 3 philosophers reported. Their ideas can help us overcome obstacles and deal with the real-life problems we face every day. Think of these 12 lessons as “medicine for the soul”.

Epictetus (50 - 135 AD)

1. Our first job is to divide and distinguish things into 2 categories: Externals I cannot control, and the choices I make in regards to the things I can control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices. You have a choice to make changes within your control.

2. It is not events that disturb people, it’s their judgment about things. We decide what things mean.

3. Get rid of self-conceit, it is impossible to learn that which one thinks they already know. There is always an opportunity to learn so that we keep getting better in life. How have you made progress?

4. The true man is revealed in difficult times. So when trouble comes, think of yourself as a wrestler paired with a tough young buck. For what purpose? To turn you into Olympic-class material. Obstacles are an opportunity to grow.

Seneca (4 - 65 AD)

5. There are more things likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more in imagination than in reality.

6. Excellence withers without an adversary. Stop living comfortably; this is a death trap. Embrace the struggle. Every day, look to challenge yourself.

7. Associate with those who will make a better man of you. Welcome those whom you yourself can improve. The process is mutual; for men learn as they teach. As Goerthe says, “Tell me who you consort with and I will tell you who you are”.

8. This is our big mistake: To think we look forward to death. Most of death is already gone. Whatever time has passed is owned by death. Go out and live for death resides in the time that has already passed not in the time that lay ahead.

Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD)

9. At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself “I have to go to work as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for; The things I was brought into this world to do. Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm? Win the morning and you will win the day.

10. Our actions may be impeded, but there can be no impeding our intentions or our dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. Turn obstacles into FUEL.

11. If at some point in your life, you should find anything better than justice, honesty, self-control, and courage, if you find anything better than that, embrace it without reservation. It must be an extraordinary thing indeed. Do the right thing, the rest doesn’t matter.

12. No, It’s fortunate that this has happened and I’ve remained unharmed by it- Not shattered by the present or frightened of the future. It could have happened to anyone. But not everyone could have remained unharmed by it.

Best in Health,

Dr. Dane

Dr. Dane Donohue is a Chiropractor in Newtown PA and has been serving his community for over 25 years. Wellness Solution Centers provides all the services you need for a healthy life.

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