Merriam Webster definition of "tenet" : "a principle, belief, or doctrine generally held to be true

especially : one held in common by members of an organization, movement, or profession" 


1. Recognize the difference between what’s under my control and what isn’t under my control, and don’t worry about

   what isn’t under my control (because it isn’t under my control!). Focus on my reactions, because I can control those

   with my mind. Don’t attach my identify or happiness to the uncontrollable: externals such as my body, possessions,

   reputation, death.

2. Be content – but not passive – with what I have, rather than constantly seeking to fulfill new desires. Work hard to

   make the world a better place, but don’t base my happiness on the results. The results are beyond my control. My

   efforts are within my control. In short: Live in harmony with the universe: conform my desires to reality, rather than

   try to conform reality to my desires. This will lead to peace of mind, happiness, and virtue.

Epictetus: “Don’t demand that things happen as you wish, but wish that they happen as they do happen, and you

will go on well.” (Enchiridion, 8)

3. Understand my emotions. Don’t repress or assent to all emotions. Use my capacity to think rationally to master my 

   emotions with my mind. Understand that most destructive emotions are based on false beliefs or unrealistic expectations

   (most emotions are errors in judgement). Think about the emotion I’m experiencing before assenting to it. Think

   about the thinking that created the emotion.

Epictetus: “Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning

things.” (Enchiridion, 5)

4. Do what’s right no matter the cost, and don’t complain about it. I only control my own mind, so take care of it by

   living with integrity. Do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing, not because it brings about happiness or

   reward, not because it’s in my short or long term self-interest. Create habits of thought that are realistic (Stoic virtue

   is a form of training). Focus on acting from a good motive.

Marcus Aurelius: “An emerald shines even if it is not spoken of.”

5. Understand that events themselves are not problematic; it’s my thinking about them as problematic that makes them

   problematic. Adjust my beliefs and expectations to fit reality: prepare my mind so I don’t lose it!

6. Live with compassion and respect for human rights (we’re all connected).

7. Cultivate right thinking through daily activities like meditation, contemplation, reflecting, journaling, etc. 

8. Understand that what is external (outside the mind) is determined, and remember that I have the inner freedom to

   choose my attitude towards external, determined events. Cultivate a more forgiving attitude towards others because

   they are controlled by forces beyond their understanding.

9. Be calm in the face of adversity. Remain disciplined by using my mind (not pleasure or pain) to guide my behavior.

10. Stop whining: turn adversity into advantage. Be realistic: think about how I can fail, then consider how can I turn those  

    failures into something good.


Stoicism has many things in common with other philosophical traditions, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, 


Christianity. Discuss why.

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