Stoicism Reveals 4 Rituals That Will Make You Mentally Strong
Eric Barker stashed this in Diabolical Plans For World Domination
Strong like bull!
Stoic rituals that can make you mentally stronger:
- Ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?”: You won’t be surprised and you’ll be better prepared. And that’s a prescription for perseverance.
- Use a “reserve clause”: Fate permitting, it will help you persist after disappointment. (If not, it’s out of my control.)
- Take the “view from above”: Put things in perspective. Whatever occurred, it’s probably not the worst thing that has ever happened. (And if people shot at you at your last job, it definitely isn’t.)
- Ask, “What would Batman do?”: Or Wonder Woman. Heroes really do guide our behavior and give us strength.
Some people might still be a little scared to seriously think about “What’s the worst that can happen?” To be fair, “the worst” can be pretty bad at times. And even the Stoics knew thinking about this was not fun.
But oddly enough, there’s a very nice side-effect to considering awfulness: it can actually make you happier. Yes, happier.
You may have heard of a principle called “the hedonic treadmill.” It’s one of the most depressing findings in happiness research. It says that we eventually adapt to whatever good things happen to us. You get a raise… and then you take it for granted. New car? You’ll take that for granted eventually, too.
But when we imagine losing the things we’ve taken for granted, studies show the effect temporarily reverses — we become grateful. And happier:
The authors hypothesized that thinking about the absence of a positive event from one’s life would improve affective states more than thinking about the presence of a positive event but that people would not predict this when making affective forecasts… As predicted, people in the former condition reported more positive affective states.
You don’t appreciate air conditioning until you step out into 100 degree weather. So don’t be afraid to think about the worst. Much like the “view from above” it helps you put things into perspective.
And try using the phrase “fate permitting” when you’re facing a challenge. Seriously, give it shot. It’s worked for 2000 years. After all…
What’s the worst that could happen?