Drawing upon themes in Seneca’s ‘Letters to a Stoic,’ I discuss negative consequences of desires, vices, and how we can change our mindsets to live more modest content lives. Desires can distract us from our worthwhile goals, compromise our character, harm us, cause great stress, and lead us to be slavish. Real joy can be found in contentment, in reducing our worries and unhealthy desires, which will allow for a more fulfilled life.
My Stoic Philosophy series explores the tradition of Stoicism with goals to inform, empower, and help others benefit from practical wisdom of Ancient Greek, Roman, and modern thinkers including Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca.
For the Stoics, a main focus is pursuing virtue to attain a well-examined life through practical applications of Philosophy – acting with good character, using reason to form accurate careful judgments about the world, and achieving contentment. Stoic writers focus on many perennial human concerns and urge people to take action applying what they learn to everyday life. Self-improvement is central to Stoic thought – strengthening and improving one’s mindset.
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