Ancient wisdom can teach us surprisingly many things about ourselves and our life.
We love to read and watch movies about ancient civilizations. There’s just something mystical about people and their way of living in the times of ancient Rome and Greece.
Even if we are not dedicated fans of history, we enjoy a good myth, book or theatrical play based on ancient Greek, Roman or any other civilization from the distant past. The current hype about the Vikings is just another example. As it turns out, these pieces of ancient wisdom could help us fight everyday obstacles better than the self-help books written from the perspective of today’s way of living and approach to problems.
In fact, one of the most selling books about ancient wisdom, “Ego is the enemy” written by best-selling author Ryan Holiday is based on our self-obsessed and egocentric perspectives. “Many of us think that the main obstacle to a full, prosperous life is the external world. In fact, the most obvious opponent in this quest is our Ego”. – Says the Author. This is one of the best definitions of today’s society.
So, how do we implement the ancient wisdom to our everyday life?
Here are some great bits of advice on how to live happily and have fewer worries from the people who lived some 2 to 3 thousands of years ago. People who had much fewer psychological issues than the people of the modern internet era…
1. What is Your Perception of The Event?
By the theory of Stoics, the events cannot be classified as good or bad, only the perception of them can be classified. If you apply this to the saying “It’s all for the greater good”. Sometimes things happen for a good reason, no matter how bad they appear to us in the beginning. If nothing, you can always take a good lesson out of it, and never repeat the same mistake again: Change the perspective you are seeing things and you might find a totally new meaning to it.
This piece of Stoic philosophy was accommodated by famous psychologist Albert Ellis to develop the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This therapy is today’s main method for helping people overcome obstacles, such as sadness, anxiety or anger.
2. Ignore What You Can’t Control.
Simple and easy! The things which can be controlled, are usually the ones that will make changes in your life. So concentrate on them instead of fighting with the winds and natural disasters of your mind. The stoic principle here is very simple. Just ask yourself: What can I do about it? And if your answer is nothing, turn another page in your life. Move on and things appear much more positive. If you are worrying too much about an event from the future, then you will lose a lot of positive energy today and will not be able to perform the basic tasks which could help that future event to turn out the best possible way.
3. Learn to Accept Everything, but Not Passively.
We tend to confuse the terms “accept” with “give up”. If we accept something, this doesn’t mean that we gave up our original idea. Maybe we will take a longer path or find a compromise and things will come back to the point where we wanted them. It’s all about tactics. A good theory about intelligence says that it literally means the ability to adapt to new difficult situations. So use your intelligence, accept the situation but try to take the best possible actions to make it work for you.
4. Take a Mentor.
This might be one of the best pieces of advice an ancient person could give you! It’s simple. Next time when you have problems, think about a person who inspires you: Think about their life and how would they react to your problems. They don’t have to be someone you know personally, but if they are, call them and talk to them. If they are a historical figure or a famous person from your time, read more about their lives or situations and learn from it. Some great battles were won just because the leaders were imitating the tactics of past commanders. Role models give us inspiration and motivate us.
5. Be Grateful.
Gratitude is a word that must be utilized much more in today’s world. Not only the gratitude among people but general gratitude for things and happenings in your life. Stoics would recommend having a morning and evening ritual to prepare yourself for the day that’s ahead. Gratitude plays a big role in this rituals. If you take a few minutes and think about all the things that you are grateful for, simple things that really make your life better, you might learn to lead a happier life.
To Sum Things Up
In short, here’s how ancient wisdom from the Stoics can help us become happier and have a better perspective on life-changing events:
1. The events don’t influence your feelings, your perspective and beliefs do. Beliefs can be changed, quite easily! Learn more about methods of changing the beliefs.
2. Worrying will make you less efficient. Control what you can, ignore everything else. By trying to control unchangeable things you will end up in a cycle of constant failure.
3. Accept everything and then do something about it. Whatever happens, it can be changed with small efforts. Remember the story about the Phoenix.
4. Find a role model or a mentor. Talk to someone you respect or just read about your hero’s life. You might change every situation in life if you apply some tactics of wise and successful role models.
5. Morning and Evening Rituals of gratitude will change many things. Try to accept this healthy habit. By being grateful for small things you will open the door for big and important positive events.
By Roberta K.
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