After following Tim Ferriss via his Podcast, his Philosophies, I have found that Stoicism is something which is definitely worthy of a pursuit as it will help me lead a better and a more meaningful life by focusing on what’s important to me and not what the world around me may feel so.
Time and again, Tim has suggested a book — Seneca, letters from a Stoic…after much procrastination and resistance (I had give a shot to his other often recommended book — Meditations, but just couldn’t flow with it, will try again) I finally got the book and I regret not picking it up earlier.
A few pages down the following line appears —
“‘What progress have I made? I am beginning to be my own friend.’ That is progress indeed. Such a person will never be alone, and you may be sure he is a friend of all. “
I was blown away by the above line and the deeper yet simplistic meanings attach to it.
Why becoming your own friend is progress?
On a everyday basis we are bombarded by views, opinions, suggestions from every direction, your family, your co-workers (or employees), social chatter, various news outlets, TV, etc. Barring family (in my experience) everyone else will have some vested interest in influencing you, so that in future they can get something out of you. As for family, leaving apart the extended/relative side, close ones — assuming they genuinely want your welfare, will look out for you — but even they are not aware of the entire story which you will be aware and experiencing on a day to day basis.
Also we may not share everything with our family, not because we don’t trust them, but because there are things which we don’t want to trouble or burden them with. If we can shield it for their betterment and happiness, why not?
The other aspect is that we are becoming increasing restless and the thought of doing nothing is terrifying to many. I personally know many people who can’t just sit at home (after working hours) all by themselves with their own self. These people constantly need people around them. They will probably go mad if they have to spend even 30 mins alone…which begs the questions..are they so afraid of their own self and hence running from it?
Are they running away from their own best friend who is the best counsel they can get?
No one will look out for you the way you will look out for yourself.
You know that exercise is good for you and yet you press the snooze button. Ask you, whether exercise is what I should do in this moment and the answer will be yes.
Its said a mirror can reveal many things even though its only a reflection of the surroundings. You are your own mirror.
In every decision, ask yourself deeply whether it is something you should do or shouldn’t do and you will get the answer which is right for you. It may not be what you want…hell who doesn’t want an extra serving of large fries…but the best friend in you will say its not good for you and hence best to avoid.
So the next time you want to decide on something, anything, ask your best friend and you will get the answer which is good for you!