7 Principles of Stoicism that will cultivate Manhood within you
Applying the core principles of stoicism is massively constructive for all men. There’s a reason the stoics have been highly regarded throughout the past 2 millennia. Even in the modern era, it’s extremely common to see Marcus Aurelius and Seneca quotes for inspiration or humbling mindset shifts.
The stoic philosophers speak to men in particular due to their focus on dealing with circumstances in the most rational way possible. In a world full of chaos, many men get attached to their emotional states and continue to suffer by making bad decisions.
This is why stoicism is a great philosophy for men to study and more importantly, apply to their lives. The practical wisdom of Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus, and others still is easily adapted to modern day circumstances.
As each of these stoic principles is mentioned, take a look in your own life. Evaluate how much each one you’re align with, and see what you can do to incorporate the areas you fall short.
Logic is the most essential of all stoic principles. It paves the path for way of a man to conduct himself. Every decision you make without logic is a random gamble, which will often lead to ruin. But every decision you make with logic is the best decision you can make.
Valuing logic as a principle means that you let your logic guide you, not your emotion. Emotions can be useful, especially in survival contexts. However, in our modern society emotions are not the best indicator my themselves. We all inherently know this, yet within our own life, it can be extremely difficult to rise above the cloud of emotional attachment to our own situations.
But if we want to cultivate our manhood and be the greatest we can be, we must remember to value logic, use logic. The ability to remain logical is what will guide you through your difficult times, and help you to take advantage of your favorable times.
Nature is one of the key principles of stoicism that, like logic, is not always valued in today’s society. There’s been a resurgence of the value of nature since the covid pandemic. While we all look forward to thinking opening up, let’s not loose sight of the true worth of nature.
The stoics value nature because they realize nature is he highest order. They understand that we must live as nature requires. Going out into nature – or into different landscapes, getting sun, and being outside, is something all humans should do. This will help you to put you back in touch with the earth.
However, the stoics approach nature not primarily from an environment perspective, but as the way of life. Or as we can put – the Natural Order. Having nature as one of your key principles of stoicism doesn’t mean you need to go live in the woods by yourself. Marcus Aurelius was himself a Roman emperor, constantly surrounded by society and the people in it.
Valuing nature – while the natural world is beautiful – is also about valuing the natural order. When you live according to nature, you live in the way you’re meant to live.
As a man, when you see the importance of living according to nature, you begin to change your life. You understand the importance of living how you’re supposed to live. You seek out good work to partake in, good foods to nourish your body, and you live in a way that’s beneficial for yourself and your community.
Respect is when you see the value or importance in something. You can like something and respect it, or dislike it yet still respect it. You can respect yourself as a man, and you can also respect a formidable enemy or challenge that arises.
Respect is one of the stoic principles that may seem more subtle than the rest. But it’s an critical aspect of manhood. Any man who has no respect for himself will do nothing with his life. And any man who can’t see the value or importance in others will soon become a slave or be subjected to their power. Being able to assess a situation requires respect for those particular circumstances.
As a man, you must recognize the importance of respect for yourself, for relationships, and when dealing with obstacles. A lack of respect will lead to a weakening of yourself, your relationships, or open you up to defeat by your enemies or a challenge that was greater than you thought.
See the value in yourself, and also see the value or importance in others – both friend and foe.
The essence of stoicism is logic, but logic is built on the foundation of understanding. Logic in itself can be an alluring snake. Many philosophers (other than the stoics) can get caught up in different trains of logical thought, and end up being illogical with their wasted efforts.
In order to truly be logical, to be rational, you must have understanding. And to have understanding, you must first value understanding. Understanding is wisdom. When you can understand a situation, a person, a group of people, or even yourself, you can then be logical about what you do. If you have no understanding, then your logic will be based upon a bad foundation.
To gain understanding, you must detach as much as possible. This is how you get as clear of a perception as possible into whatever is being examined. With a clear view comes understanding.
When you value understanding as one of your key principles of stoicism, you gain insight into your own life. A man who has real insight into his life can make the best decisions. He won’t make decisions based out of fear, anger, depression, jealously, or any other strong emotion. Instead he can make decisions from a place of understanding.
With understanding we can build the next block which is discipline. Discipline is the ability to make the most beneficial decisions repeatedly. When discipline is one of your guiding principles of stoicism you’re able to audit your own choices more wisely.
Is this he best decision for this situation? If yes, let’s proceed. If no, then let’s look at alternatives.
A man who has discipline is simply a man who makes the best decisions on a consistent basis. When you value discipline, you value yourself. You respect yourself enough to do what’s best for you, and you have the understanding to decipher what that is.
Discipline is what separates males from men. A male doesn’t make the correct decisions consistently. But a man, one who has cultivated manhood, consistently makes decisions that lead to the best outcome. Discipline has been an essential stoic principle for thousands of years, and it will continue to be the deciding factor for greatness.
Fortitude is toughness. It’s being able to face adversity with courage and dignity. Fortitude is one of the principles of stoicism that will allow you to become a master of your own destiny. Becoming the best version of yourself isn’t just about doing the things you want to do. It’s also about dealing with the hardships that life dishes out.
The things outside of your control that come and smack you in the face. This is where fortitude comes into play. In fact, the reason the stoics are so famous can simply because their emphasis on fortitude. While the word itself may not have been used, that’s the essence of stoicism. It’s the essence of manhood. Not showing weakness when life is cruel to you.
Choosing to be strong, to not react emotionally, and to endure until you rise above the fire. All of the great men we respect are men who are seemingly non-reactive to unfortunate circumstances.
In today’s society, this attitude is shamed as being toxic or emotionally unavailable. Somewhere deep down, as man we know that having fortitude is a strength for us. It’s what allows us to lead ourselves and lead our communities. That’s why fortitude is one of the principles of stoicism that guides all true men. Because when things turn bad, people turn to a man with fortitude for safety and direction.
Develop fortitude in your own character by not getting emotional about bad situations in your life. Instead, be resilient, and see how you can overcome this trial.
It’s commonly said that patience is a virtue. And it’s also the last major principles of stoicism that you need to keep in mind to cultivate your manhood.
Patience isn’t a lack of ambition or drive. Patience isn’t letting others abuse you.
No. Patience is the ability to endure. It’s knowing that what you want isn’t immediately available, but it will be in time. And being able to work towards getting it or to embrace the current pain until it is gone.
All great leaders must have patience. Every man whose done anything to change his life ha shad to exercise patience. When patience becomes one of the stoic principles that you embrace, you’ll be able to get what you want in life. You’ll be able to conduct yourself as necessary in this moment, in order that you get the best outcome for the long term. And that’s what manhood is about.
When you value all of the other stoic principles laid out here, patience is the final product.
Become a Stoic, Carry yourself as a Man
While I recommend you read books Meditations by Marcus Aurelius or Letters from a Stoic by Seneca for yourself, the principles of stoicism they promote can be summarized rather quickly. While these principles of stoicism are simple, what’s not simple is to actually live by them. To actually examine your life and see where you can use improvement.
Making these principles of stoicism apart of your character will enrich your experience of life in its whole.
In embodying all of these stoic principles, your life will be more simple, productive, joyful, and peaceful. By having greater peace of mind, mental clarity, understanding, you’ll be in touch with your own nature as a man, and you’ll be able to conduct yourself in the best way possible.