How The Stoic Mindset Is The Key To Success In Life | Stoicism — Philosophy as a Way of Life

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Learn how ancient Stoicism and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help you become very successful and happy. Get tips from experts like Donald Robertson.
While Seneca and Epictetus have more content to work with, there is far more information on Marcus Aurelius since he was a public figure and one of Rome's greatest emperors. In the world of modern Stoicism, few people know more about Marcus Aurelius than Donald Robertson. His books and courses take you from covering the basics to college graduate-level information.

I was first introduced to Robertson's work when I was reading Jules Evans' book Philosophy For Life And Other Dangerous Situations. Evans candidly tells the story of how he had suffered from unbearable bouts of mood swings, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. He was advised to utilize techniques from a school of psychology called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help him overcome these ailments. CBT originated from two therapists who were quite fond of Stoicism. Evans learned that the foremost expert on the roots of CBT was Donald Robertson who has published extensively on this subject.

The unique pairing of Stoicism and CBT exercises is perfect for getting through just about anything. Stoicism represents a broad philosophy and mindset to work through common problems. CBT represents the application of specific exercises at a local/personal level to achieve tangible results.

While many people mistake classic Stoicism to be the philosophy of having a stiff upper lip and being unemotional, these connotations are simply wrong. I'm reminded of Robertson's clarification in his seminal book How To Think Like A Roman Emperor:

[Stoics] distinguished between three types of emotion: good, bad, and indifferent. They had names for many different types of good passion (eupatheiai), a term encompassing both desires and emotions, which they grouped under three broad headings:

1. A profound sense of joy or gladness and peace of mind, which comes from living with wisdom and virtue.

2. A healthy feeling of aversion to vice, like a sense of conscience, honor, dignity, or integrity.

3. The desire to help…
[arlie] PEYTON
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