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Happiness and Freedom. Stoicism and Entrepreneurship, the Parallel.

Discussion in 'Mindset, Motivation, Choices' started by Greg Rutkowski, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Greg Rutkowski
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    Greg Rutkowski #ChumaMode FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I am going to start and end this thread with the same question. How has philosophy helped you?

    Not long ago, my college-old interest in philosophy had been rekindled. With a specific focus on Stoicism. This occurred about the same time I started becoming interested in entrepreneurship. Was this a coincidence? I think not. I would venture to guess that the same thing happend to you when you started your expedition into the Fastlane.

    Many business, motivational, and self-help books are written with philosophical undertones. Now more than ever, people are starting to recognize the importance of philosophy and how it can help them achieve happiness and purpose in life. In modern day, you hear Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday talk about it. Sports teams using it. And even the military teaching it. Prominent members of society like George Washington, James Stockdale, Theodore Roosevelt, and many others were practicing Stoics.

    I’ve been practicing and studying Stoicism for two years now and have noticed that there are many aspects of Stoicism that seem to translate to success in business and life.

    To name a few parallels:
    • Accepting loss- Money, time, health, relationships are all things that we do not own, therefore they can be taken away from us at any point in time. It is important that we accept that loss is part of life. The quicker we can come back from a loss, the sooner we can come back stronger and ready to accomplish more.

    • Using reason and not emotion- When making decisions in your business, it is important to use your better judgement and not let your emotions get in the way.

    • Helping fellow man- All of us are trying to solve a problem by creating a product or service. Doing so helps the entire human race. We are here to do the work of humans, and that work is to help other humans.

    • Bettering yourself- It is important that you exercise, eat well, and nurture your mind. Doing this helps you help your fellow man.

    • Valuing time- Next to health, many say that time is our most valuable resource and we should spend it wisely.

    • Discipline- Quite obvious how this applies to starting a business.

    False perception
    When you think what is means to be Stoic, you think of someone who is; robotic and emotionless. But what you are thinking of is actually being stoic (with a lowercase “s”). The two are very different. Someone who practices Stoicism as a philosophy is actually a very happy person (outwardly). That is because Stoicism is the art of minimizing negativity in your life.

    We first started down this road by asking ourselves the same question. How do I obtain freedom?

    We may have even convinced ourselves that If we can obtain freedom, then we will be happy.

    But the truth is, you must learn to be happy before you can achieve freedom. Otherwise no amount of money, cars, or babes with help you.

    When you can be happy in any situation, then you are truly free.

    Happiness is internal
    Whether we recognize it or not, we search for freedom in everything external when we should be looking for freedom and happiness internally. If you you are telling yourself “If _____ happens, then I will be happy” you are going about it all wrong. All too often we get _____ or achieve ____ and are still not happy.

    Take notice of when successful forum members talk about “enjoying the process.” This is what it means to learn to be happy, not matter what.

    Your philosophy of life directly correlates with how you think, reason, and make everyday decisions.

    This way of thinking has helped me come back from my many failures stronger and faster with each failure. It has helped me appreciate the process more, and makes me more willing to take on bigger challenges.

    How has philosophy helped you in your life and business?

    Conclusion: Stoicism may or may not be for you, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that having a philosophy will help you have a purpose in life and could be your key to happiness.
     
  2. SteveO
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    SteveO Legendary Contributor LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    It is too easy to find negativity in life. I like to take the observant approach by viewing what is happening now. We are not victims of a society that is chasing us to do harm. Look for the fun and humor when possible. Accept that things will happen, they are part of life.
     
  3. Raoul Duke
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    Raoul Duke wubba lubba dub dub FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    “The answer is, “Don’t think about it.” - Rick

    I follow a stoicism/absurdism philosophy. I like Marcus aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus, Fyodor dostoevsky & Albert camus.
     
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  4. Greg Rutkowski
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    Greg Rutkowski #ChumaMode FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    @SteveO, I always love your insights.

    Living in the now and "being present" is great advice. Too many people get wrapped up in things that may happen in the future.

    Played the victim card seems to be a self fulfilling prophecy. If you are focused on all that is negative, negative things will happen to you. That is because a negative event and a positive even are both opinions. Negative people always seem to find ways to take what would be a seemingly great thing, and turn it into a tragedy. It is probably best to avoid these folks at all costs (even if they are family).
     
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  5. MidwestLandlord
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    MidwestLandlord Platinum Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I tend to be a super emotional guy.

    Not in a "victim" way, but just your "everyday asshole" kind of way.

    In other words, I'm not very good at minimizing negativity in my life. I cause 99% of it.

    Thanks for the reminder. Good thread for sure.
     
  6. Greg Rutkowski
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    Greg Rutkowski #ChumaMode FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I used to be the same way. I felt that my position in life wasn't not good enough, even though 99% of people would probably be content with what I have... Having a job made me bitter, and my long commute just added insult to injury. I literally started and ended my day in a bad mood, and I took that mood home with me. Now, I am learning to accept my current position in life but at the same time am working diligently to improve it. Every aspect; family, health, and financial.

    You can change your mood and your general demeanor by practicing being thankful for what you have right now. Not matter how little. Learning to appreciate your current situation can prevent a lot of anger. Another way the Stoics put it is called negative visualization. This is where you practice losing things that you really care about. You do this to prepare yourself for the loss and to make yourself more appreciative of that thing or person. Think about losing a family member, your home, your investments. What then?

    Humble yourself.
     
  7. MidwestLandlord
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    MidwestLandlord Platinum Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I'm never content with ANYTHING.

    And yeah, 99% of people would be content with what I have...but I'm not.

    Now that you put it this way, maybe I do have a victim mentality...just not in the "cry baby" sort of way.

    Hmmm....
     
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  8. Greg Rutkowski
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    Greg Rutkowski #ChumaMode FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Maybe all you have to do is re-frame the way you think about things.

    There is a difference in telling yourself;
    that you are not happy because your are not content
    verses
    you are still happy even though you are not content.

    I like to think about it like this:
    I am happy with what I already have, but I am always going to try my best to make my situation even better.

    Before Stoicism, I used to think to myself:
    I am unhappy because my situation isn't better.

    This led me to spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. Constantly being upset that I wasn't making any progress. I was basically trapped inside myself.

    The main lesson here is that I have some degree of control of my situation, but not total control. Therefore I should not think about it to the point of becoming anxious and pissed off. It is the same thing as seeking happiness externally verses internally. Your situation is external. Your opinion of your situation is internal.

    I hope that helps.
     
  9. ksc23
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    ksc23 Knower of nothing FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Before Stoicism:

    This (external object) makes me unhappy.

    After Stoicism:

    I'm using (external object) to make myself unhappy.
     
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  10. Greg Rutkowski
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    Greg Rutkowski #ChumaMode FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Maybe I am missing something, but both of the above sound like the same thing.

    *(external object) should have no effect on happiness.*
     
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  11. MaverickBrenton
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    MaverickBrenton Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Letters from a Stoic by Seneca helped me through a lot of troublesome times. The book, when understood, gives you a new perspective on life and builds a kind of mental armour to help you face adversity.

    I highly recommend it.
     
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  12. MaverickBrenton
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    Fortune5ive Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Put zero trust in humans. Be comfortable with being alone. Be creative. Love your dog.
     
  14. ksc23
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    ksc23 Knower of nothing FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Eg.

    "He makes me angry."

    Vs.

    "I'm using him to make myself angry."

    First represents blame and outer locus of control. The second represents responsibility and inner locus of control.

    Not sure how to make it any clearer.
     
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  15. ExaltedLife
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    ExaltedLife Contributor Speedway Pass

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    The philosophy from which I've learned the most is Objectivism... Most notably, the rational epistemology and ethics. Learning how to think and how to act according to proper principles in order to develop virtues of character are crucial for a man.
     
  16. daru
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    daru Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Had a shitty yesterday where another person behaved in a way that troubled me greatly. Caught myself and used stoicism to recognize I really can't control other peoples behaviour.
    Was able to drop my bad mood and self-pity I was falling into and go to sleep happy.

    I have two Stoicism quotes by Epictetus on the wall at home.

    First is : Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.

    Second is: Some things are up to us and some things are not up to us.

    Everybody gets the first one and nobody gets the second one.
     
  17. amp0193
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    amp0193 Gold Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    At a church function a few weeks ago, someone asked the group "Raise you're hand if the level of worrying in your life is a 1 out of 5". I was the only one out of 20 to raise my hand, and I did so immediately.

    It's because I understand, and have internalized, number two above.

    When things are out of my control (even in bad situations) it is relieving, because now I no longer have to think about it. I can't change it for better or worse, so no reason to worry about it. It creates a calm in me.

    Most people worry and get anxious over things that may happen, but over which they have no influence. This is a tremendous waste of energy, and is a source of unhappiness for many. (i.e. Politics)

    We would do best to spend our energy on the things we can control completely, and over those things over which we have partial control (while acknowledging that there are other factors beyond our control that could cause influence over the outcome).
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017 at 6:53 AM
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  18. MTF
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    MTF Never give up LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Love it! What a powerful attitude to have. Thanks for sharing it.
     
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