Stoicism is 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.
That's the textbook definition. But it's more functional to get to the how.
Doing is the best way to learn.
Stoicism keeps the following beliefs:**
- If you are unhappy, it is your fault.
- Everything is temporary
- We are social beings with a social duty
- Hedonism is not the path to happiness
- Fame & Fortune are overrated
- A philosophy of life must be lived
- Do not long for an ideal situation
- Maximize positive emotions and minimize negative emotions
- Rephrase goals so that they are entirely within your control
- Have nothing you are not prepared to lose
- Live simply
- Negative visualization
- Exercise self-denial
- Resist materialism
- Accept what cannot be changed
- Refuse to consider yourself the victim
- Practice misfortune
- Live in accordance with human nature
If you are unhappy, it is your fault
You and only you can make you happy. Other people and other things cannot make you happy, but you can find happiness through their medium. Wood does not make one happy, but cutting, sanding, and assembling wood into a piece of art or furniture can bring happiness through the actions you take with it. Your girl may not make you happy, but being a leading force in your life, and by virtue hers, you can find happiness through the actions you take with her.
Inversely, you cannot, and should not expect to, make others happy. It is their responsibility to find happiness through the actions they take with you.
Everything is temporary
Life, relationships, your car, your relationships with women, are all temporary. Entering into the idea that I have a girlfriend is an easy way of saying, I don't have to try to do better because I locked down my girl This is laziness and sloth. Nothing is forever, but the longevity of things and relationships, and people can be extended through positive actions and regular maintenance and improvement.
We are social beings with a social duty
You are a social creature, and as such, you crave the interactions with other social creatures. You have friends, a girl or two, maybe children. These people comprise the network of which you have a social duty. You also have a social duty to those you work with, and your town, and your state, nation, and the world. Everything you do should be for the betterment of your circles of social duty. Social duty can lead to gaining AMOG status in a group.
Hedonism is not the path to happiness
Hedonism, a defining trait of the me generation, is the constant search for self-indulgence. Hedonism thrives on instant gratification and makes one dependent on the false idea that other things and other people can and should make them happy. Hedonism is being a spoiled child; hedonism is looking to lose weight without the effort; hedonism is wanting girls to fuck you without trying to be someone she actually wants to fuck. Hedonism is probably the main counter-point to Stoicism.
Fame & Fortune are Overrated
Fame and Fortune tie into hedonism; with these things, the ability, and temptation to have more and get more becomes overwhelming. Fame brings a false happiness because it depends on other people. Since only you can make yourself happy, the requirement of other people fame has nulls this ideal. Fortune is the more useful of the two, by itself. If the fortune you've accumulated is the result of fame (considering that everything is temporary, and the poor effects of hedonism) then consider that you haven't a fortune, but instead an amount of wealth that should be used to consider the future, your social duty to your family and community, and as a buffer to the temporary nature of everything.
A Philosophy of Life Must be Lived
Red Pill is not a philosophy; it is a praxeology; a science of human actions. Red Pill incorporates many concepts known through evolutionary biology, sociological and psychological studies of macor and micro groups, and some philosophies, mainly Stoicism. Stoicism is not something you are able to wade into, as with all philosophies, it must be lived to be understood. You can't know it unless you experience it, you cant' learn unless you do it.
Do Not Long For an Ideal Situation
This plays into the old axiom of, "The grass is greener on the other side." To be clear, it's the idea of thinking, "my life sucks, girls won't fuck me." Wishing and talking about it does not make it so. Doing, makes it so If your grass is dead and dying, standing outside and talking about how it needs to be watered doesn't actually make the ground wet. Instead, remember that "The grass is greener where you water it," and then go out and water the grass. Don't imagine a better life... make yourself to better to provide a better environment for your relationships to improve.
Maximize Positive Emotions and Minimize Negative Emotions
Negative emotions (anger, hate, resentment, etc.) are contraindicated when trying to make something better. Resenting your girl for whatever reason won't make her change her behavior, and it will kill your mood, and by extension, hers. Instead, know that: If you are unhappy, it is your fault and that you Should not long for an ideal situation. Be happy with what you have, happy that you know how to improve it, and happy that you know you can improve it. Maintaining a positive, optimistic outlook on what is happening allows you to see the possibilities that are hidden by negative thinking. If one is resolved to not getting rescued, he will not find much use in starting a fire.
Now let's examine how we can bring these beliefs to fruition through practice.
Rephrase Goals So That They are Entirely Within Your Control
Let's pretend you want to run a 5K race. You don't know how to run well, and by extension, you don't know how to train. You get out and run, haphazardly, whenever, and however. Race day comes and you turn in a paltry time of 26 minutes. You resolve to be faster so you say, "I will be faster next time."
This is garbage thinking. There is only an immeasurable "faster" and an immeasurable "next time." That's anything over your previous time from 1 second or more for a length of time from no until whenever. Use SMART goals:
A SMART goal version of this example: "I will run a sub-25-minute 5K time in 12 weeks at the next scheduled race."
Apply these types of goals to everything, for Red Pillers, the best is to start with the gym: I will lose weight... I will lift x amount of lbs, and turn them into SMART goals. Once you have SMART goals, you have a time frame within you can apply a schedule and plan.
Have Nothing You Are Not Prepared to Lose &amp; Resist Materialism
As Tyler Durden said, "You are not your fuckin' khakis."
Your car, your house, you clothes. These are things, material and simple. They are the product of your time, effort, and ability -the things you cannot live without.
If your car, house, and all your belongings burned to the ground tomorrow, you would still have the tools to bring those things back in some form. Your work allowed you the ability to pay for insurance to get new things when everything burns. Your work is the combination of your time, effort, and ability. These three things are the basis for all other material things you own. These are innate to you. Your house is not.
Living simply, or with austerity, allows you to appreciate the things you have. This does not mean live cheaply... or even frugally. One can own quality while living simply. Simple living leads to an uncluttered environment which extends to an uncluttered life. Your living space is a manifestation of your mind and your mind can be influenced by that living space. A simple living space has limited distractions.
Imagine a scenario where your house has burned down. Your family has no place to live, sleep, eat, etc. What do you do? Negative Visualization allows you to plan for the unexpected, or at least plan for the knowable problems that may arise. Your house is gone. Can you get a new one? If so, how? This is a good chance to exercise SMART goals. Figure out a problem that hasn't happened, and then plan for that contingency. This will give you a level of control over your life you didn't previously have. For Red Pillers, we do this as part of the process of swallowing what would happen if I never had sex again? How would I live? What would I do? How would I apply myself in a productive manner?* Negative visualization leads to an abundance mentality.
Exercise Self-Denial &amp; Practice Misfortune
Exercising self-denial is the physical manifestation of negative visualization. Live, temporarily, in a way that deprives you of something you think you depend on. Some Red Pillers, while unplugging do this with sex; we call it "monk mode." We distance ourselves from the thing we thought we needed and from the people we thought we needed it from. In this, we find that we survive just fine and that we now have the energy to devote to maximizing positive emotions and working to make ourselves happy. One of the classic ways men practice self-denial is through camping; we commune with nature, with very little (the bare basics in most cases,) and if you do it backpack-style, you limit yourself even further by way of what you carry and that you make yourself distant from society's technological boon, the car.
Accept What Cannot be Changed
You cannot change the way others are any more than you can change the rotation of the Earth or the expansion of the universe. In remembering that your happiness is made only by you you recognize quickly that attempting to change others is an exercise in futility. Instead, change yourself, as that is all that can be changed.
Refuse to Consider Yourself the Victim
You are not the victim. Inasmuch as you cannot change others to your whim, you need to accept that they cannot change you. If you feel the part of the victim, it is because you allowed that person, or situation, to keep you in a state of negativity. People do not victimize you, you allow yourself to be a target. Instead, stand up, defy the status quo as you have allowed it to form, and shake the foundations of what was formerly expected of you. Claiming victim-hood is founded in laziness and a lack of personal accountability.
Live in Accordance With Human Nature
As you should accept what cannot be changed directly, you should recognize that which can be changed indirectly. Humans are not special and different. While there are sociopathic and psychopathic exceptions, people tend to behave in very predictable ways. By working ourselves into that system, we can effect the changes we want to see in others simply by changing ourselves. With women, by simply being a better man, we find that our sexual outlook improves because the women around us adjust, and re-set themselves in a very predictable manner, to the new dynamic we have created. Trying to live as we were, pre-Red Pill leads to similar predictable behavior, just manifested in a different way.
As you unplug, lift, read, and better yourself, examine which of these basic tents you have been following and continue to apply them, and in bettering yourself, figure out which Stoic fundamentals you are missing and add them. We are working to better ourselves for the sake of ourselves and ultimately our marriages:
- Are you unhappy? Whose fault is that? Stop considering yourself the victim.
- Is your unhappiness permanent? It is not; Set SMART goals, Accept that you can't change others, and improve yourself.
- You have a social duty to your family and friends. Have you been living up to that job? Start applying yourself to be better so that others can follow you.
- Are you avoiding your problems in order to find happiness through self-indulgence? Seek happiness through self-improvement, not self-indulgence.
- Do you wish things were better? That will not work; make things better. Improve yourself, be better at what you do, set the goals to bring the improvements to fruition.
- Are you focusing on the negative aspects of your life? A negative thinker sees only the nots, a positive thinker sees the what ifs.
- Are you depending on other people and things to make your life better? Step back, imagine a life without, practice that life without, and make a plan for when it happens.
Get a hobby, build something, and lift!
* I have altered the language from the original post to fit this sub's strategic language. I have made punctuation, grammar, and spelling fixes.
** I left out fatalism from the list as I don't believe that the idea of predetermination is unhealthy for our purposes. I think fatalism is an ideal from a time when men literally thought gods planned out our existence on a thread. Red Pill requires existentialism in order to be effective, otherwise we are looking to others to make our lives complete, gods withstanding.