Mastering Self Control | Stoic Exercises For Inner Peace

Mastering Self Control | Stoic Exercises For Inner Peace

The Stoics bring forth the theme of self-control
on a regular basis. Epictetus, for example, spoke about abstaining
from talking about vulgar things, and Marcus Aurelius points out that we should set limits
to comfort and consumption. In this video, I’ll go a bit deeper into
the Stoic views of… mastering self-control. First of all, I want to thank Harrison and
Reisha for supporting me on Patreon. Thank you guys! I appreciate it. I’ve already talked about the usefulness
of the ability of self-control, which helps one to stay away from addictive behavior,
acting on impulses when it’s better not to and to stay focused on the things that
truly matter. When we make the distinction between the things
in our control and not in our control, the key is strengthening the things in our control,
which is, in one word: our own faculty. A strong faculty ensures that we’re less
likely to be enslaved by outside forces that are not up to us. This means that impulses, triggers and temptations
have less power over us, which strengthens our position in a universe that’s ever changing. This really hit me after I recently did a
72-hour water fast, during which I didn’t eat, and drank only water for 72 hours. This first day was most difficult, but the
second day was surprisingly blissful and I was able to do all tasks that I’d normally
do. This really changed my perception in regards
to food. I used to think that I’d faint if I didn’t
eat for a day, but it turns out that I’m doing fine after a period of not eating. The lesson I got from this, is that many needs
and desires come not so much from the body, but from certain ideas that are ingrained
in our minds. For me, abstaining from food for 72-hours
changed my relationship with it; I’ve become less needy, knowing that I’ll be fine and
that I’m perfectly able to function when I don’t eat for a while. The consequence: I worry less about food. Statesman and Stoic philosopher Seneca reflected
on the festivities going on in the city, during which the Romans feasted, got drunk and basically
indulged in pleasure. He argued that it’s courageous to not participate
in these festivities, but it’s even more courageous to participate but in a different
way; without extravagance, thus, I assume, in a sober and modest fashion. To detach ourselves from luxury and test the
constancy of the mind, Seneca gave us the following advice: Set aside a certain number of days, during
which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress,
saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared? End quote. Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote that we should
set limits on leisure time, emphasizing that we aren’t made to spend our lives eating,
drinking and sleeping to excess, especially when we look at the rest of the planet. I quote: Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the
ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order,
as best they can? And you’re not willing to do
your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature
demands? End quote. Although I like his analogy, I must add that
some animals probably aren’t the best examples when it comes to industriousness. However, another argument that Marcus Aurelius
brings forward repeatedly is that we should live in agreement with nature. More specifically: our human nature. The guideline for this are the Stoic ethics. To put this simply: if one lives virtuously,
one lives in agreement with nature and vice versa. Courage and moderation are two of the four
cardinal virtues in Stoicism. Courage is subdivided into confidence, endurance,
cheerfulness, high-mindedness and industriousness. Moderation can be subdivided into modesty,
seemliness, good discipline and self-control. There are many ways to train self-control. Different types of fasting are very effective,
but please consult your doctor first. Another way is restricting the usage of the
smartphone, social media, and the internet all together, which, by the way, I’m doing
at the moment this video is published. Or how about this method: waiting a moment
in front of your dish before you start to eat, and chewing on your food for a certain
amount of times before swallowing. You’ll be amazed how difficult this is. Self-control makes us familiar with the hardship
that many fellow humans beings go through everyday, like hunger, bad luck and working
insane hours with no vacation. Becoming more content with what we have and
less dependent on what we think we need, brings about a sense of inner peace and happiness. As Seneca puts it: Let us become intimate with poverty, so that
Fortune may not catch us off our guard. We shall be rich with all the more comfort,
if we once learn how far poverty is from being a burden Thank you for watching.

100 thoughts on “Mastering Self Control | Stoic Exercises For Inner Peace

  1. Lol "we arent built to indulge in excess"? But that is the promise of heaven – eat, drink all on Gods dime, be happy & sleep to excess!
    Ah Gods Grand Plan!
    How religion is able to brainwash the best of us is amazing

  2. Man, You are incredible, e aqui eu começo a falar em português pq n lembro mais as palavras em inglês e não vou procurar no google,mas cara seus vídeos são simplesmente incriveis,vc deveria legendar eles pra português também, obrigado pela atenção

  3. A cat was sent to me since the last 3-4 days … I have food pellets I haven't fed to the dogs for sometime. So I felt more than happy to feed the cat if its comfy with this food. It was.

    However, to my dismay, I see how demanding the cat is incl. attempting to bite me when I failed to feed it (meaning caught up with other chores that demanded my attention). As I sat long enough, I knew I have a limited energy for now and that has to be channeled for activities that really needs me. I thanked the cat for reminding me to let go. She has folks to feed her or adapt to what's given than demand.

    Sometimes we need to be self-preserving. Enjoying my hermitage for now.


  5. Stoicism from the way you describe it sounds very close to the teachings of Confucius. Likely Seneca and Master Kong would have much to talk about 😅 Might be nice to do a comparative study of Stoicism and Confucianism.

  6. I find stoicism really hard. I can do all the external stuff. I fast regularly, take cold showers in winter, I train physically hard and I'm not attached to material wealth. However, it's the devils in the mind that I struggle with. I've been through a series of abusive relationships that really tested me. It's a constant struggle to maintain a state of calm. Sometimes I win but sometimes I lose and when I lose I go off the rails. I drink smoke and am crippled with depression, anger and rage. The rational part of my brain sees it but I'm overwhelmed by my emotions. The words of great stoics don't cut the mustard when I'm in those states. Like a storm I have to ride it out. I fear it may destroy me in the end.

  7. When you decrease your eating, do you have active job that moment? I want to, but I might collapse in the middle of work. I tried but only for a day since I am on midnight shift.

  8. I try. I really do. I don't like the idea of not measuring up to my own expectations, so i must meet my own expectations. For example, like you, i did a 72 hr fast… it wasnt as hard i thought, mostly because when i eat, it's out of anxiety, so i munch when im fidgety.. so what i did was focus on not being fidgety instead of actually on food…so i had to find things to fill that desire to eat when im anxious and that meant filling that moment in time with working on processing that anxiety. That by itself takes a great deal of intention and concentration, which, doing so beyond that time frame would make it more difficult. Anyway, just my two cents. Id say it's highly disciplined living and Id hardly consider myself a monk of some sorts. Then again, ive been tested in ways most people haven't so..1🤷‍♀️ who knows… maybe

  9. Self control isn't an illusion, it's a constant and a distraction.

    It's not about whether or not you control yourself, of course you do (aside from events this like seizures). It's about what you do, the choices you make. You can choose not to eat for 72 hours or you could choose to eat, either way you make the choice. One choice isn't more self controlled than the other. It's more revealing to look at the reason, the antecedents and consequences of a choice or action rather trying to attribute it to something other than the self.

  10. You said that control your impulses. I find it very difficult. I agree with most of what the Stoicism says about the deterministic nature of our world, but I have my doubts when it comes to controlling your life in an inherently indifferent and hostile world.
    According to neuroscience most of our decisions are ruled by our primitive mind.
    Furthermore, I don't think it would be wise to repress our impulses, though sometimes they are destructive, especially when one is young. The philosophy of self-control (by fasting or starvation?) has its roots in Abrahamic religions. You are promoting a philosophy that is highly incompatible with human nature and mostly superficial, that fails to review one of the many underlying complexities that are faced by modern man. You can't become poor in order to empathise with poor. By doing this you are not helping the poor in any way.

  11. I have simply forgotten to eat for over three days. I'm not implying that's a good thing, it's just possible.

  12. The problem with poverty is that it makes you more vulnerable to crime, especially in American cities. Also, you are made more vulnerable to illness amongst many other serious issues. Fasting for a day or two doesn't really give you a sense of what it is like to live in poverty.

  13. Following your good flow is your purpose, the ups and downs are ok, stay focused and manifest regardless of how we feel or outside circumstances … Living in the end, it is done …

  14. I enjoyed the vid right up until u said that poverty is far from a burden. in stoic times maybe not so much, but u obviously have never experienced poverty if u think it isnt a burden in this day and age. I've been there and I certainly wouldn't go back

  15. You're a bit like the character of Wilson (I think that was his name), from the 90's US sitcom Home Improvement.

    Is that your face or some versions of it on the 'Mug Shot' … ?

    … sorry mate … bad joke

  16. This is me not looking away from the ads and commercials, even checking out the shopping websites for what's on discount and still not buying anything on Black Friday.

  17. Wish i could do what u did but that's dangerous for a diabetic. Still… I can do the other things. I've always eschewed laziness.

  18. Dont substain from food if your sick or have diabetes. Going 24rs with less than 50 carbs a day your body will go into ketosis which is your body breaking down the fats on your body for fuel, but with out fats and proteins in your diet it will break down your muscles as well. Try not to fast for more than 72 hrs. And make sure to drink lots of water during the fast because the tissue break down will put strain on your kidneys and will dehydrate faster.

  19. When stoic exercises is what you do daily. Sometimes philosophy seems something for well-to-do people with lots of free time.

  20. Thank you for having this video. I have more than enough. Realizing needs in our lives makes us want and desire more. Thank you

  21. I agree,I'm not using internet therefore I didn't watch this video,now after beer is gone I'll fast for month or so,thanks

  22. One thing that taught me about self-control is delayed gratification, especially with things like sex, entertainment, music, indulgence of a favorite snack, watching a favorite TV show or movie, etc. Moderation is key in enjoying anything in life, and when you practice self-control you will start enjoying things even more because you deny yourself from time to time of the things you really love, gaining a deeper appreciation of them. Plus, it will prevent you from becoming addicted to things that normally are enjoyable but could potentially become harmful if you over-indulge or abuse them. Really loved the positive & peaceful vibe at the end of the video, by the way!

  23. See i can go without eating for a morning or a day but due to my job i muat eat or I will pass out haha

  24. So I should have coitus with my poverty and let it multiply to richness??
    In all seriousness what does it mean to be “intimate?”

  25. I have finally come to realise that one who never experience God within, cannot be a better coach.. Source and force comes from God..

  26. I have finally come to realise that one who never experience God within, cannot be a better coach.. Source and force comes from God..

  27. Hi, are there any famous lady stoics? There are a few French philosophers I see and I'm all good with Marcus et al, just wondering. It's international women's day, made me think of it. I went to a ukulele party kind of thing today and they were playing a bunch of songs written by women. Hey give us this one day! LOL Thank you for everything. You have helped me stay grounded in these turbulent times.

  28. I've been doing intermittent fasting for over 2 years non-stop. I only eat one meal a day.
    Our bodies don't need all the food and all the sleep society tells us. Of course, if you're abusing your body you will "need" all those hours of sleep.

  29. Your cat is “lazy” because you made him lazy by locking him in a house, so therefore you intervened with the cats natural life.

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