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Have you heard of Negative Visualization?
Pause now and then to consider the state of your life. Think of the people you love and the things you value. If you love someone, consider how you’d fare without them. If you have a great ride, think how you’d do on a bicycle or bus pass. Think of how bored you’d be if you could no longer do whatever hobbies you enjoy. Ponder the changes that a sudden loss of health would bring. This can help prepare you for an unexpected loss or change, although nothing will ever really prevent grief. More importantly, it should help you appreciate your circumstances and the people around you more, and make you content with the life you already live.
You seem dismissive of meditation and books, which seems odd for a question like this, but the first I’d recommend would be A Guide to the Good Life.
This is the 101 in stoicism. If you want to be happy, you have to learn what you can control and what not. This book is a goog starter: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (English Edition) [link]
Of course as someone else commented, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is good.
This book was the one that got me into Stoicism. Irivine does a god job - nice overview and easy read.
I really like "A Guide to Good Life", by far the most practical book I've ready about stoicism.
You're essentially doing the opposite of what Stoics like Seneca and Aurelius advocate. You're engaging in a form of positive visualization. You're creating an image in your mind of what your life would be like if you weren't engaging in being strong (which, by your definition, seems like a strenuous activity.)
Negatively visualize. Imagine what your life would be like if you weren't even capable of being strong. Imagine if you weren't capable of feeling alone because you had never had the pleasure of company. Imagine if you didn't have the use of your legs to carry you to where you wanted to go at all. Imagine what it would be like breathing through a respiratory because you fucked up your lungs. The more creative you can get, the better.
Imagine if you didn't live well. Imagine if you didn't have the things you did. Negatively. Visualize. It's arguably the most important tenant of the stoic creed. When I don't want to go running in the morning, I imagine what life will be like at the end, when I can't run, and I imagine how much sooner it will come if I don't get up and enjoy the use of my legs.
You don't need stoic advice. You need a stoic philosophy of life. Check out this book if you're interested.
I haven't used headspace but I assume it's similar. I can only say that this one, the guy's voice is just so good and the way he goes about describing everything really works for me. It feels like one part guided meditation and one part sort of life lessons or something. I guess because he relates whatever that lesson is trying to teach about meditation back to how it's practical in your daily life.
I just got an email that they launched a series on stoicism concepts along with meditation. I'm only halfway through the intro of course still but I think I'll do that stoic one afterwards. I really like stoic concepts.
This book is a very accessible introduction to using stoic concepts in your daily life, written by a philosophy professor. it's a great book, easy read, quite a few laughs in it actually. In case any of that interests you, there's a link to the book.
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy [link]
Been there, done that. Keep logging even when depressed, self-honesty needs to be practiced all the time until it becomes a part of you.
I'm currently experiencing the second week of anxiety so bad I can't sleep more than 2 hours at a time, cry and rage and ruminate on my life wasted to obesity - but I still keep logging, because if I don't, I'm stealing my own future from myself.
Get this and read it, it helps: [link]
Finish reading it even though to a depressed person it might sound like bullshit.
Yes, the dichotomy of control is an ancient concept of the Stoic domain of physics, referring to the things we have control over and the things we do not. The 'trichotomy' of control was introduced by William B. Irvine in his book "A guide to the good life" in order to account for things we have partial control over.
People keep saying "You can't standardize opinions" and that is obviously not what I am suggesting.
You can, that is how film, game, fragrance, car, gun, airline, food etc ratings work.
I said the most gruesome person one has seen to provide an idea of how low the score was. That they would have to be deformed and diseased to be this ugly.
No, I said the exact opposite in my post. That it should be a guide that we have on the side and it would be hard for a random by passer to use.
Again, it's a guide, you can't enforce a guide. How you strongly recommend a guide? Well like this "This guide will help you a lot" (Never read it, not actually recommending it), it's not that hard. Send what to orbit? If you are referring to send their picture via the internet, the internet works by sea cables, not satellites.
You don't disagree with me, you make it sound like I have said things I haven't and that I disagree with.
I said we should make a guide on how to rate and post pictures, you say that I want to control who gets to rate and make it a rule and how to post and make that a rule.
Good question, and you're right it does feel like that sometimes. The "why do I even bother" thought is maybe monthly. I see it as partly my way of donating my time for a thankless task. It's a good way to exercise your mental "control what you can, otherwise let it go" and the like too, so I see it as somewhat of a mental challenge. I get enough hate mail and random crap that there's no lack of material to practice ignoring. I'm a big fan of Stoicism as a way to operate (here's a good book on it).
> “Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness"
I do get some out of the blue PMs from people who tell me they appreciate it, so that is nice. Once in a while someone will choose me for a giveaway and I'll get a fun player to use, and they'll say it's because they appreciate my help. Those sorts of things help counterbalance it. Last year I got a MOV Perry I was stoked to use for like four months of the game's cycle.
I don't glamorize the job to people wanting to mod. I like to let them know what they're in for.
This idea that God has control of your life is a hard one to let go of. It's like the emotional equivalent to being raised with a cast on your leg. When you get it cut off, there are some muscles in there which are really weak because they weren't allowed to develop normally.
It takes time to learn to realize that there is no guarantee that things will work out. That sucks. But until you learn to relax about it, and to enjoy things as they happen regardless, then the fear that things might not work out will ensure that, at least in some ways, they don't. It's paradoxical and hard.
I read the book A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy just as I was deconverting and I found that it had a lot of helpful ideas and practices, I highly recommend it. For example, negative visualization -- as bad as it sounds, imagine that the things you are afraid of actually happen. Play through what that would look like. Generally you'll learn that (a) these things, while they'd suck a lot, are all survivable and (b) it will make you appreciate the things you have more.
I read a Tom Hanks quote some years back, that you "make your career in your 30s." So I took that to mean that working my ass off (which my wife and I did) during my 30s would be worth it. But the caveat is that your focus during those years must be to get yourself set up to never have to work like that again.
We own a business. We put in insane hours, our business earned some really nice profits. We did NOT upgrade our personal residence or buy fancy cars. We did travel and enjoy life plenty, we just didn't blow extra money for no reason on BMWs or a 5,000sf house which we don't need. Instead, we put all the extra money we made in our 30s and early 40s into rental properties and traditional retire-early investments. Now, at age 45, we can choose how much we feel like working. We have great employees who don't really need that much from us anymore. We overpay them and give them nice bonuses so they want to keep working here. They're happy, and we're happy.
Our stress levels are off the charts.... off the BOTTOM of the charts, I mean. We have enough rental income to not have to work at all. The money our business makes (which still somehow goes up every year) has allowed us to pay off most of the mortgages we had from buying properties. Knock on wood, but we are pretty set now. We can do anything we want, and we have plenty of money to waste because we've spent so many years not wasting money.
Now, I also know other people who worked just like we did for that same period of years. Instead of investing like we did, they bought big ass houses, Lexuses, Teslas, whatever the fuck. BMWs for their 16 year olds. They wanted to live according to their "means" because they "earned" it, right? Today, they have their giant mortgages, their car loans (or leases), and they have to work just as much as ever, under more stress than ever, because they know that if they quit performing and lose their job, they are fucked. They haven't built up a big financial foundation. All they've done is make and spend money. Their future will require them to continue working and making money because they need to spend it to prove how successful they are. This is what you DON'T want to do.
So my advice to you, u/superman9962, is to take that business over and run the shit out of it for the next 8-12 years. Do your absolute best to keep the trajectory going up, getting better, and keep those profits coming in. DON'T unreasonably increase your current lifestyle. I'm not saying don't spend money or have fun, just don't lock yourself into a big expensive lifestyle you don't need.
Take the extra money from the business over the next ten years and you can set yourself up for life. Let key employees have responsibility and pay them for doing a great job with it. They'll never leave you. Meanwhile you can be investing wherever you are comfortable so that in the future you'll never have to work like this again. And when you hit 40ish, your business will be ready for you to step back a little, so you can either continue milking your cash cow, or sell it to some nice folks who will keep your key employees and run it the way you have.
I am so effing glad we put in the hard years we did. And now that we could retire if we wanted to, the big surprise is that we find we enjoy our business way more because all the pressure is off! I think we'll keep it another five years, maybe more. We can get weeks (sometimes months) at a time to travel, and everything keeps rolling when we're gone, so shit, why not just keep the ball rolling as long as our employees want to and it doesn't cramp our style? We have all the power now to decide what we want our life to be going forward. For these reasons, I say it will totally be worth it to you ten years from now. Best of luck to you. :)
One last thing, here's a book you might enjoy. https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic-ebook/dp/B0040JHNQG
It has helped me greatly to mellow my mind and enjoy my business and my life. I've stopped fighting against and complaining about the bullshit aspects of business which I have to deal with and be responsible for. By accepting that there are stressful and annoying things and people, and that there's nothing I can do about them, I changed my focus. Instead of forever wishing these annoying things didn't exist, and stressing myself out, I accept that they always will exist. I can't change (most) people. I can't change the shitty way other businesses and people operate. If I need what they sell, i gotta deal with them. As such, it is pointless to allow them to ruin my day. Just get what I need from them and move on.
Annoying things I have to do on a regular basis, I just accept how annoying they are and take care of them anyway. Instead of being annoyed every time, I sit back and laugh at the absurdity of some of the BS I get to deal with because of what I choose to be doing in life. End of story, no big deal. That book really helped me move past all the drama and irritation our own minds tend to generate on their own. ;)
I wanted to recommend this one... written by a philosophy professor, it's very accessible and made a big difference for me. It's sort of an intro to stoicism.
Secondly--- I own a business with a seasonal slow period. For 3-4 months each year I more or less don't have to work. I have been fighting that strange guilt sensation for so long. I know exactly what you mean.
It's hard to do anything different from what EVERYBODY else is doing. But it doesn't mean we are wrong to do it. Stoicism has helped me accept that it's perfectly natural that I would feel strange given that my lifestyle is so different from pretty much everyone else's.
There's a theory of psychology that due to the millenia of generations of survival of the fittest, our brains are hard wired to worry. It's only been for the last few generations that a good portion of the human population could live without having to be on guard constantly against death by wild animals, starvation from crop failures/not finding food to hunt, small wounds becoming infected and killing you, etc.
Those of us alive today are the descendants of the ones who DID worry enough about the dangers in the world to survive through them long enough to have kids and keep them alive too. The ones less inclined to worry would have survived less often. So you could say many of us were bred through natural selection to be peak worriers.
Today our world no longer requires this level of worry, but we're stuck with brains which are built to be anxiously aware. Our brains will create those feelings even when our lives do not require any worry at all.
I read a great book on Stoicism a few years ago I really enjoyed. I think it definitely helps keep these anxious feelings in perspective. Step 1 for me is to accept that those feelings are entirely normal and not something I need to fight agains. u/cagarsalvagemente you might enjoy this book!
I'm glad you have some respite from those attacks. From what I know they can be brutal. My knowledge stops at the basics, I'm afraid. For example, I really like Donald Robertson's How To Live Like a Roman Emperor because he not only spells out Stoicism, but offers practical exercises. One I found particularly helpful was to write down my thoughts, but from a third person perspective, focusing only on observation of thoughts not any meaning behind them. For example, my journal might have looked like this: "Ambitious_Dust feels anxious when she is reminded of ABC. She worries these things might indicate XYZ. XYZ is particularly unsettling for her because she is worried about the following possibilities [...] Ambitious_Dust should remember that just because she imagines a thing coming to pass doesn't mean that thing will come to pass. She should remember that a lot can happen and should trust the people involved will do their best as well...." You can find him on youtube and articles all over the web as well.
There are other good Stoic how-to and cognitive behavioral practices to help calibrate thinking from anxious to more realistic, but I am only familiar with a few. I've just started William Irvine's A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, and I've liked everything I've heard from him. He has a particularly smooth, tranquil way of speaking. If you can get Sam Harris' Waking Up meditation app, you'll find a series by Irving about Stoic living. His lessons last about 15 minutes which I find a perfect chunk of time for something like this because while it's good for fairly short attention spans, it's rather deep and gives a lot to think about. If you can't afford the app, you can sign up for free, though I'm not familiar with how. I would recommend it. I've found learning how to be mindful of my thoughts has been a tremendous help with dealing with my own anxieties, though I've never had a panic attack so I can't speak from that perspective.
Someone very kindly linked this therapy worksheets, tools, and handouts on this sub a few weeks ago but I can't recall who so I can't give them the recognition (and appreciation) I think they're due.
The sub's library and reading recommendation posts will surely have more and better resources for you as well. Hopefully others can help out as well.
Weird correction, are you trying to say that whoops, I'm secretly a theist because I try to follow Stoicism?
Some philosophers have retooled ancient Stoicism as a modern non-religious life philosophy, and it adapts really well to modern secular values and a material world: https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic-ebook/dp/B0040JHNQG. The doctor of philosophy who wrote that book is very emphatic about the nonreligious nature of this notion of life philosophies. My point was that atheism is not a life philosophy, and if you simply reject religion -- which comes with life philosophies preinstalled -- you still need to find a life philosophy.
I found a couple books in the sidebar that are along the lines of what I'm looking for: A Guide to the Good Life and Get a Life: You Don't Need a Million to Retire Well.
Thanks for this, the post before about Mann was good too.
I've always liked this book on Stoicism - https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic-ebook/dp/B0040JHNQG
There is also Roy Scranton who writes about philosophy and the end of civilization.
No problems re the links etc.
I'm in my late 30s now and have worked in many different roles. I am reasonably successful and overall very content.
On a side note, if you want to learn about a good 'life philosophy' (i.e. a good way to live your life to help with overall happiness), I strongly recommend the ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism. Probably the best introduction to this is "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy" by William B Irvine. It might sound heady and deep by the title, but it is actually quite an easy read and the principles can be applied to your daily life. :)
With respect to your studies, it is always harder to study something you are not really interested in, and this is where it's important to look at the long-term, not just the next year or two. As I said, these things you learn in school form much of the foundation upon which you will build for the rest of your life.
I know I'm just throwing book recommendations out, but I've found a lot of useful information this way.
A final recommendation (which will help with your view of 'failure') is The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Michael Starbird PhD and Edward B. Burger PhD. It's very easy to read and understand, and helps you to think better, all of which will make studying easier. I have the audiobook and I'm on my 3rd listen, as there is so much great content in there!
Again, I wish you all the best. :)
Again, not a doc but i do know as a consumer of medical services that a second or even third opinion is a good idea. MDD symptoms vary a lot. MDD doesn’t just go away forever with behavioral changes (although those are a necessary part of your treatment). As i said, you can have good years and bad years without meds. But quite a few MDD sufferers need medication to increase their serotonin levels. In my case, i will probably need medication the rest of my life, because i have had more than two major depressive episodes.
In your shoes, i would seek a diagnosis from a psychiatrist, and lay out everything including the suicidal ideation. A psychiatrist (who, unlike a therapist, is required to have an MD) would be a position not only to diagnose but to prescribe medication if needed.
I would not worry so much about hospitalization - there is a difference between someone who is able to recount persistent suicidal feelings, and someone who is in crisis and acting on them immediately. Both are very important to deal with, but only the second would require hospitalization, let alone involuntary.
Also, it may not be MDD but something else entirely, whether it is a mental illness or a physical cause.
Before the psychiatrist, make sure your last physical exam ruled out a physical cause - for example, thyroid problems can cause depression. Again, be frank and detailed with your primary care providers. Your primary care doc should be in a position to refer you to a psychiatrist.
Here’s a quick overview on MDD [link]
As for reading, i loved A Guide to the Good Life as a practical guide for applying Stoicism to everyday life. A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy [link]. I also like the Stoicism subreddit. Study happiness, too - there’s been interesting results from research done by Harvard and other major institutions. I also like Alain de Bouton’s School of Life videos on Youtube. All the best to you, and feel free to DM.
watch your inflammation:
Inflammation Predicts Decision-Making Characterized by Impulsivity, Present Focus, and an Inability to Delay Gratification
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy is a good place to start
Learn to fight. Grappling and striking. Gives your ass the ability to cash checks your mouth writes
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Sure. :) But you can't control everything. For instance, what happened in the past can't be changed. So a Stoic would argue not accepting and being at peace with what has already happened goes against reason.
Anyway, I like Stoicism. If you want a good intro, Seneca's letters are great. I also like A Guide to the Good Life.
Just read this book: https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic-ebook/dp/B0040JHNQG/
It changed my life, I was in similar situation
>Law of Power #38 - Think As You Like, But Behave Like Others. I knew I was doing it right the WHOLE time. (There's 48 of these things? Unlimited POWER!)
Haha yeah, it is definitely food for thought. I find some of them useful, but many are just too dark triad and manipulative to be a good fit for the way I want to live my life. I treat it like a toolbox - take what works for me and leave the rest of the tools in the box. That's what MRP is really all about, using the tools to craft a life that you are satisfied with, not necessarily "following the plan" to the letter.
>2nd top comment talks a bit about stoicism again. Do any of the sidebar books cover that?
I don't think there's anything on the sidebar specifically related to Stoicism, but A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy is a pretty good introduction. I also see Meditations by Marcus Aurelius recommended here a lot, although I haven't read it myself yet. Here's a couple of good posts having to do with a Stoic approach that you might find helpful as well:
The Stoic Approach to Sexual Denial in Marriage
How to Become Outcome Independent Using a Stoic Trick
I would also recommend the Bible for practical steps to self-control. Specifically Proverbs and the book of James, although the entire New Testament is packed with wisdom on this as well.
>Weed and Alcohol just aren't my vices. In my estimation replacing games is easy if It's something I actually want to be doing, like working out.
Yeah, weed and alcohol (and numerous other drugs) were my vices for 23 years, every day. I'm clean for 10 years now. It's good that you recognize your own perspective on games. I think anything can be fine in moderation, but most of us ended up here precisely because we didn't have control over one or more areas of our lives. It's up to you to determine whether it's something that can be used as an occasional relaxing pastime, or whether it has enough of a hold on you that you just need to eliminate it. All depends what your goals are. As Socrates said, "Know thyself.
I recently read A Guide to the Good Life and found it approached Stoicism systematically and from a more modern perspective. It tries to act as a guidebook. There's chapters that also cover the history and formation of the philosophy. As far as the metaphysics there's a chapter that substitutes evolution in place of God/Zeus explaining we want to accumulate as much stuff, eat as much as possible, and gain social status (fame) because that gave ancient humans better odds of attracting a mate and reproducing. So we're the result of millions of years of these insatiable drives programmed into us. I hadn't actually given that much thought, but it seems obvious now.
It looks like there's many similar books in the suggested section on that page, for what others bought. Including This complete guide to Stoicism that I'm about to buy.
I get the whole Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde (mini-gnar / mega-gnar) thing you experience, and the frustration that comes out in game. I bet you can start a game with all the intention of being nice and kind to veryone, and by the end as things fall apart your raging in all-chat, right? And then afterwards, you're kinda embarrassed, but also frustrated and wanting to jump back into the game immediately to make up for the last game. I experience a lot of this myself, and have done lots to help correct myself.
There's a few things I'd like to mention:
>“Who then is invincible? The one who cannot be upset by anything outside their reasoned choice.”
>“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” – Marcus Aurelius
>“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
We need to re-write this script somehow. Here’s a basic idea of what I’d do:
There is a lot of help out there for Freelancers starting out, but I am going to recommend a few unconventional books - that although not directly related to client work or marketing - have helped me with the overall journey (although your mileage may vary)
Yeah, we're slaves. We live in a society that encourages self-enslavement via debt. It's a shitty life, spending all day inside and creating nothing of real value to anyone.
I have 10 more years or so. I look at them as an investment into myself. 10 years of slavery for 100 years of freedom. How old are you? Snake People are likely to live for a pretty long time (ignoring the possibility of global warming-related catastrophes and assuming you take good care of yourself).
> How did we get this way?
We are owned. Bought, sold, and bet like cattle. We are fed "food" filled and coated with chemicals and hormones that change our brain chemistry. We drink water that has dangerous chemicals in it. The air is poisoned, too. We're distracted and divided with fake news about nonsense. We got here by allowing other people to make decisions for us. Financial Independence is a way of taking control of our own lives. Keeping the goal in mind is very important to staying the course.
I don't know if this is more helpful or harmful to you, but it's the truth. Knowing the truth has a price. It changes you. You will find yourself more and more separate from those who are willing slaves.
My advice: find people you love, hug them a lot, and do a lot of wandering and talking. Work out a lot. Be a strong person. Read lots of great books. I recommend
A Guide to the Good Life
Island, by Aldous Huxley
DMT: The Spirit Molecule
It's actually 'A Guide to the Good Life'.
My first was A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Irvine.
It's a little pop psychology-ish, but offers a very basic and accessible overview, and includes practical techniques to apply to your daily life. I have to credit it, though, as my jumping off point.