OVER­TURN YOUR OB­STA­CLES

Mens Health (Australia) - - Slug + Here -

The philo­soph­i­cal school of Sto­icism is the per­fect op­er­at­ing sys­tem for thriv­ing in high­stress en­vi­ron­ments. Stoic writ­ings are not ar­cane ar­gu­ments for be­spec­ta­cled pro­fes­sors – they’re cog­ni­tive ex­er­cises proven to cen­tre, hum­ble and keep you free and ap­pre­cia­tive. Stoic prin­ci­ples are of­ten prac­tised in re­hab clin­ics with al­co­holics so that cop­ing mech­a­nisms don’t drive them to drink. We’re all ad­dicts in some re­spect and we can all ex­pe­ri­ence that same free­dom. The Sto­ics had an ex­er­cise called Turn­ing the Ob­sta­cle Up­side Down. Sup­pose you’re try­ing to help some­one and they re­spond by be­ing surly. In­stead of mak­ing your life more dif­fi­cult, the ex­er­cise says, they’re ac­tu­ally di­rect­ing you to­ward new virtues, such as pa­tience and un­der­stand­ing. Take an evening to read

On the Short­ness of Life, by Seneca – you will re­fer to it the rest of your life.

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