To Be Young and Stoic

Closure / Lifestyle

Written By
Annisa Puspa Andira

Edited By
Fazrah LR Heryanda

Photograph By
Adhelia Sani Pramita
Fadhli Zaky

Yes, being young is—perhaps—all about fun. Worry is the least thing on the sentence because what can go wrong where our body is still in such prime condition and a head full of ideas. It is a phase of exploration, so it is such a shame if anything could crush the ‘teen’ spirit inside. The thing is while it might be too early to talk about identity crisis and how much pressure society put to our shoulders, it is indeed unclear knowing between what it wants and needs in that phase. It could awake our inferiority cells and raging emotions, potentially making youth full of regrets. Knowing that those problems remain unanswered, the author of the worldwide phenomenal The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, Mark Manson write his book based on his experience where he noticed that prioritizing and valuing the wrong things is the root from the suffering. Interestingly, what Mark Manson is trying to deliver it is actually relevant to lessons from 300 years BC is known as Stoicism.

Stoicism sounds kind of heavy knowledge thing, but it’s a path that could lead a better self and life. Stoicism is a branch of philosophy that’s emphasizing on mindfulness. Then, how Stoicism helps us to reach mindfulness? By living following nature. What ‘nature’ refers to isn’t merely just the environment; it’s much bigger than that. Henry Manampiring wrote in his book Filosofi Teras that ‘following nature’ means in a human context is how we should use the logic and common sense, differentiating from another living organism in order to live in virtue. So, anyone could have lived the following nature by controlling mind—rather than letting it master us.

Some things are up to us, some things are not up to us

It might be confusing how to control our mind properly in finding a virtue. Therefore, Stoicism gives more details about how to practice and to find the right state of mind. Epictetus, one of stoic philosopher once said in his book Enchiridion ‘Some things are up to us, some things are not up to us.’ It means that there are things that we can control and things we can’t control. Things like perception, emotion, desire, opinion, judgment, behavior, and thoughts of our self are indeed in our control. However, things like others opinion, view or perception, wealth, health, and all the things that outside of our self are included in things that we can’t control.

We can’t deny that youth is the time when all kind of emotions mixed up where problem keeps coming incessantly. In Stoicism, these problems are only an illusion of your perception that should be in our control. Problems will be problems if we agree that those are indeed a problem. Therefore, with Stoicism, we will feel that we have plenty of time to fill our youth with fun and useful things without giving a little time to mourn any problem.

Less worry and happier

Being Stoic also excludes all negative feelings or emotions within which, of course, those are in our control because negative emotions are born from mistaken our perceptions. Choosing rational rather than letting out anger is also emphasized in Stoicism. It doesn’t mean that we become cold, ignorant, or emotionless, but instead makes us appreciate what we have and use it wisely. By practicing Stoicism, we could become less worried, because your minds can filter and control negative things.

Stoicism is a principle that is considered to be a powerful way to bring joy, serenity, and virtue. Focusing on oneself without being bound by things outside of our self makes Stoicism related to daily life. Even so, there are plenty of people who find it challenging to make Stoicism as a lifestyle. The key to applying Stoic is to continue the practice. The more we adjust to practicing Stoicism, the easier it will be for you to enjoy the youth.

To learn about Stoic, it could be found in several books like Filosofi Teras by Henry Manampiring or How To Be Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci. You are also can listen to a list of Practical Stoic Podcast every day. For last, let’s keep one’s finger crossed to be young and stoic!


More productive

When you do some work, sometimes there’s a tendency to prioritize results rather than enjoying the process. It would lead to high expectations to achieve perfect results. In Stoicism, we are encouraged to enjoying each process ahead. It doesn’t mean that we only relied to positive thinking, but rather practicing mental contrasting—combining negative and positive thinking. So, we will find much more enjoyable with the work we do and more considerable the effort we put in. Moreover, we won’t worry about results that we can’t control.

Less consumptive

Today social media has become the platform for most of us to show our existence through lifestyle and things what we have. It pumped up their consumptive behavior, especially with the convenience provided by shopping and finance applications. By practicing Stoic, we’ll be able to think about the impact. It would also make us aware that there are actually more important things to pursue more than just existence in the cyber world.

Pressing down depression

Depression is also one of the problems that came from negative emotions continues to grow. Whether it’s because of bad comments from other people, tragic event, or other things we labeled as bad things. When we stressed out, we tend to depend on others to help us resolve our problems. Instead of expecting others, we should count our self to deal with it. By practicing Stoicism, it could help eliminate negative feelings by controlling our perception of things, because they’re born from mistaken our perception. Through Stoicism, we can see that our strength could provide solutions for the problems we encounter. In other words, we are the solution to our own problems.