Hermit Life

A Little Something from Ryan Holiday

Stoic person Ryan Holiday says:

Having thought about this, and trying to get them all straight for my own practice, here are 50 rules from the Stoics, gathered from their immense body of work across two thousand years. These rules functioned, then, as now, as guides to what the ancients called “the good life.” Hopefully some of them will illuminate your own path.

  1. Focus on what you can control.
  2. You control how you respond to things. 
  3. Ask yourself, “Is this essential?” 
  4. Meditate on your mortality every day.
  5. Value time more than money/possessions.
  6. You are the product of your habits.
  7. Remember you have the power to have no opinion.
  8. Own the morning.
  9. Put yourself up for review (Interrogate yourself).
  10. Don’t suffer imagined troubles.
  11. Try to see the good in people.
  12. Never be overheard complaining…even to yourself.
  13. Two ears, one mouth…for a reason (Zeno)
  14. There is always something you can do. 
  15. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  16. Live as if you’ve died and come back (every minute is bonus time).
  17. “The best revenge is not to be like that.” Marcus Aurelius
  18. Be strict with yourself and tolerant with others.
  19. Put every impression, emotion, to the test before acting on it.
  20. Learn something from everyone.
  21. Focus on process, not outcomes.
  22. Define what success means to you.
  23. Find a way to love everything that happens (Amor fati).
  24. Seek out challenges.
  25. Don’t follow the mob.
  26. Grab the “smooth handle.”
  27. Every person is an opportunity for kindness (Seneca)
  28. Say no (a lot).
  29. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  30. Find one thing that makes you wiser every day.
  31. What’s bad for the hive is bad for the bee (Marcus Aurelius)
  32. Don’t judge other people.
  33. Study the lives of the greats.
  34. Forgive, forgive, forgive.
  35. Make a little progress each day.
  36. Journal.
  37. Prepare for life’s inevitable setbacks (premeditatio malorum)
  38. Look for the poetry in ordinary things.
  39. To do wrong to one, is to do wrong to yourself. (sympatheia)
  40. Always choose “Alive Time.”
  41. Associate only with people that make you better.
  42. If someone offends you, realize you are complicit in taking offense. 
  43. Fate behaves as she pleases…do not forget this. 
  44. Possessions are yours only in trust.
  45. Don’t make your problems worse by bemoaning them.
  46. Accept success without arrogance, handle failure with indifference. 
  47. Courage. Temperance. Justice. Wisdom. (Always).
  48. The obstacle is the way.
  49. Ego is the enemy.
  50. Stillness is the key.

I’ll leave you with the one rule that captures all the rules. It comes from Epictetus: “Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” 

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