According to Stoic man and philosopher Epictetus the mind has 7 functions that will lead us to live a good life.
According to him, the proper functioning of the mind comes down to following these principles.
What is Stoicism?
Stoicism is a part of the ancient Hellenistic philosophy which was founded by Zeno of Citium, in Athens, in the early part of the 3rd century BC.
The best part of Stoicism is that it does not rely on complex theories about the nature of reality. Instead, it focuses on helping us overcome destructive emotions and to act on the things we can act upon in life.
The most famous Stoics and founding fathers of Stoicism were Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, and Seneca.
Marcus Aurelius, the emperor of the Roman Empire, was the most powerful man on earth and was a practitioner of this philosophy.
Epictetus was a slave and later found his own school where he taught many of Rome’s greatest men about Stoicism.
Seneca was a philosopher and statesman that was a senior adviser to Emperor Nero.
Stoicism at its core teaches us how unpredictable life can be, how brief our time on this planet is and how to be steadfast, strong and in control of yourself.Therefore being a stoic man can help you live a better life.
“The proper work of the mind is the exercise of choice, refusal, yearning, repulsion, preparation, purpose, and assent. What then can pollute and clog the mind’s proper functioning? Nothing but its own corrupt decisions.”
So let's take a look at the 7 Functions according to Epictetus.
Our choices define us.
For most daily choices are made unconsciously.
Unfortunately, this becomes such a powerful habit for many that even important choices get made mindlessly.
Choices like what to eat every day?
What time to get up?
What to focus on?
To exercise or sleep?
These “little” choices all add up to define who you become and who you are.
We then move on to big choices like what to do with your life.
What job or career you will go into?
To quit your job or stay safe?
To stay in a relationship or leave?
These are all choices you have to make.
Choices that will impact you for the rest of your life.
(2)Refusal of Temptation
You will be tested by life.
Temptations will be placed in front of you every day.
These temptations will test your will, focus, and priorities.
These temptations will have the ability to get you off your path and lead you into chaos.
You have to be aware that the danger lies behind these temptations.
The danger to derailing everything that you want in life.
The danger to take everything that you have worked hard for.
If you are building something big in your life be cautious.
And if you are in deep trouble in your life then start with saying no to these temptations and watch how things change.
Say No and get your life back.
Say no to the parties, no to the drugs, no to the alcohol, say no to women when you are working, no to the junk food.
(3)Yearning-to be better
According to the dictionary, yearning means the following:” A feeling of intense longing for something.”
What are you longing for?
What are you yearning for?
What are you obsessed about?
Are you obsessed with your own success?
Are you obsessed to live this life in the best way you possibly can?
Are you obsessed to make the most of every single day that you are alive on this planet?
The reality of this world we live in is that its competitive.
And if you want to get your piece of the pie you need to get into the game.
But mediocrity is not going to cut it.
You have to raise your standards.
Raise your standards with everything you do.
If you want to win in life you need to make a conscious choice that you will accept nothing less.
And for that to happen you need to become obsessed.
Be repulsed by bad influences and negativity.
Be repulsed by the constant lies that go around.
You can spend 5 minutes online or watch TV to realize that lies are everywhere.
And if you don't know it yet then you will sure to find out the hard way.
To live a life of freedom and honor will demand of you to be repulsed by lies and negativity.
Negativity has zero value.
Its the cheapest commodity in the world because it's so common.
It's not hard to find negativity.
You need to stay clear of negative people and influences.
Limit your time on social media and limit TV.
When you see and experience lies make very clear that you dont tolerate it in your life.
For both lies and negativity should give you a feeling of repulsion.
Stay away for the fakers and bullshit artists and walk alone.
“Victory Loves Preparation”
Preparation is probably the most powerful thing you can do to change the direction of your life.
Preparation is the thing that makes the difference between winning and losing.
Between living and dying.
In our yearning for success we prepare in different ways to get the edge and get what we want in life.
This takes hours, weeks, months and even years of preparation.
So we prepare for success and to reach our full potential.
But should also prepare for life.
Sometimes life and death situations come towards us without us expecting them.
They will come if they haven't yet.
And they will come when you least expect it.
They will come when your friend gets injured or wounded in a car accident.
Were you prepared with CPR or first aid?
They will come when you get confronted in the street and you are alone with your girlfriend or wife.
Did you go to the gym?
Did you take some self-defense or martial art classes?
Whatever the situation in life remember you are a man first.
And with that comes the responsibility to be prepared not just for your own success and survival.
But also for those you care about.
Be prepared for anything that might come your way.
If you don't have a purpose then you need to find it.
Your purpose is your highest priority in life and you need to chase it.
So I want to ask you this: What is your mission?
Most men that have lost their way or have stumbled into a dark hole of depression usually have one thing in common.
They don't have a mission or purpose.
There was a time in my life where I was lost.
It wasn't until I discovered my purpose that I started changing the direction of my life.
In ancient times men had a simple mission.
So we hunted, killed bears and had a few kids.
Life is a bit more complex now.
Most of us don't have wars to fight or bears to kill.
This causes a lot of men to feel lost on an unconscious level.
If you feel lost then you need to find your mission, your purpose.
Start “hunting” again.
Get hungry for winning again and see yourself transforming everything.
Assent is defined as “approval or agreement”.
The ancient Stoics knew that understanding what is inside and outside our control is important.
But many things we can't control.
Once you accept this truth you can live free.
You can let go of all your fears.
Your fear of death.
Fear of flying.
Fear of failure.
Fear of rejection etc….
All these fears we have are mostly self-inflicted.
Yes, I get it.
There is a lot we can do and prepare for, but the rest we have to let go.
We have no control over those things.
Accepting that will give you freedom.