Stoic Week 2015 commences on 2 November. What is Stoic Week? In a nutshell, it is a chance for anyone who wants to understand what the Stoic perspective and daily practice entails, and to experience some of the benefits that comes with developing a Stoic approach to life and all its complexities.
This will be my second Stoic week, so to make sure I get the most out of the experience I’m starting to get momentum the week prior by really taking seriously the central tenets of Stoicism, including:
- Virtue is the only true good worth pursuing
- Living a frugal lifestyle with a reduced focus on the acquisition of external ‘goods’ and the cultivation of a contentment for the internal life and qualities
- Developing a mindful moment-to-moment approach to “impressions” and learning to use my power of judgement to nip unhealthy desires and fears in the bud
- Recognising what is in my power and focusing my efforts in those areas
- Accepting what is not within my power
- Practising Stoic exercises such as the morning and evening meditations and reading Stoic texts.
If you are new to Stoicism, then I suggest you check out the Stoicism Today site for a complete run down on what Stoicism is and how to take part in Stoic Week.
One of the things I struggled with after Stoic Week 2014 was keeping the momentum going following that 7 days of intense focus on Stoic principles. It is too easy to fall back into patterns of indulgence in excessive irrational pleasure, including food and drink, wanton consumerism and wasting time on the internet.
I’ve found myself focusing too much on things I can’t control and feeling anxious because of this. Modern Western cultures prize insecurity and excessive hedonism, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for us or that we should continue to participate.
Pushing the reset bUTTON
Stoic Week 2015, for me, will therefore be a reset of sorts. By taking a flying start and beginning my Stoic intensive the week before Stoic Week, I believe I’ll be able to better adopt Stoicism as an “operating system” for making better decisions in life.
Stoic Week is a great opportunity to reflect on your life, examine it through a Stoic lens and gain valuable insights on how your life could be better by taking on a more Stoic attitude to life.
A practical philosophy
The success of Stoicism in recent years is in part due to its practicality — it is philosophy you can use to lead a better life.
With that in mind, here are some of the things I’ll personally be doing to put Stoic principles into practice. This is in addition to the Stoic techniques that will be outlined in the Stoic Week 2015 Handbook:
- Eat only a simple meat-free and dairy-free diet
- Manage cravings, hedonism with proper use of impressions
- Cultivate simplicity in all things
- Perform simple bodyweight only workouts with full presence
- Be a producer: Make good use of my time in service of producing work rather than consuming (i.e. Being a creator of web content that helps others rather than consuming content on the web).
- Act from my highest values and virtues, not emotions
- Cultivate a disciplined mind: Minimise distractions by applying the Pomodoro Technique to ensure sustained attention on the task I am doing
- Sleep well
- (New addition) Cold showers
*For an idea of what Stoic Week entails, check out the 2014 Stoic Week Handbook (pdf).
Just do it!
Stoicism has already had a profound effect in my life and the lives of thousands of others. If you’re religious, it will make you a better believer. If you’re not religious, Stoicism will give you an operating system and code of virtue ethics that will make you a better person, family member, friend and citizen of Earth.
Stoic Week also serves as a research project, based at the University of Exeter in the UK so by participating, you can help add vital data in to the mix.
- More information on the content of Stoic Week 2015 (Philosophy of CBT site)
- Enrol in Stoic Week 2015