Get to Know More about Stoicism

Have you ever heard the word ‘Stoicism’ or ‘Stoic’? It’s actually complicated to understand the meaning of stoicism itself because it is a wide topic with many practices or implementations and has many philosophers. The first thing that we need to learn is where it came from. The word ‘stoic’ comes from the Latin word ‘stoa’ which according to Wikipedia is a covered walkway or known as a painted porch, usually for public use. There are many stoics that we have probably ever heard of; one of them is Epictetus.

Quoting what Epictetus stated about the main idea of stoicism: “Happiness and Freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not”. To put in short, understanding the meaning of stoicism is when a rational being i.e., human, has complete control over their ability to attain virtue and, consequently, happiness (Oliveira, 2020). So, we can interpret that stoicism is more of a way of life.

Some of us are probably unfamiliar with stoicism before, but there are chances that we have already applied the practices in our daily life, for example when you’re exercising, meditating, journaling, and etc. Those are the ways of stoic implementations. Stoicism helps by reminding oneself to live in the moment and focus on building virtue and character. One of the most powerful parts of stoicism is Memento Mori. Again, you might have heard the words before. It is a Latin phrase meaning “remember you must die”. Although it is a little bit eerie to hear, this is actually a great saying. This touches on the idea of reincarnation, that if you live a virtuous life, you will be rewarded in your next life.

If you have purpose in your life, you’re able to overcome and go through any obstacle, pain, and suffering that you experience. The most important purpose of stoicism is virtue. That is why stoicism is so powerful and timeless, because many people nowadays still use it as a guide and reminder to live a better life. It encourages people to welcome and accept things they can’t control and to just let it go and move on with your life. That is what stoicism is.

To have a better understanding of its main ideas, here are a few main core stoics beliefs in order to see the reason why a lot of people find stoicism useful in their daily lives and also in stressful situations.

  1. Happiness is obtained by living a virtuous life, not by pursuing material pleasure. 

  2. Remembering what you can control and can’t control is essential. Don’t shift blame onto others for bad situations. Take ownership of your thoughts and actions, but don’t concern yourself with opinions or events outside of your control. We can’t control outside events, but we can control our reactions to them. 

  3. Don’t dwell in the past, future, or on negative emotions. Simply focus on getting done what you can in the present moment. 

  4. Focus on cooperation and doing good. Connection and helping others are two of the most important things in life. 

  5. Progressing into a better person is incredibly important and adversity presents an opportunity to do exactly that. (Guerin, 2022)

In conclusion, stoicism is a philosophy that gives optimism. It does not necessarily focus on the idea that life can turn out bad, but to show that bad things happen and we can and have to be able to get through them. No one can take away your virtues, your freedom, and your happiness. It empowers you to strive even more because it sets you away from the fear of failure.


Guerin, L. (2022, March). Modern Stoicism and Its Usefulness in Fostering Resilience. Crisis, Stress, and Human Resilience: An International Journal, 3(4), 138.

Oliveira, B. (2020). Stoic Eudaimonia: Can Mental Health Rightfully be Considered an ‘Indifferent’? The Mudd Journal of Ethics, 5(5), 29. https://my.wlu.edu/Documents/mudd-center/journal-vol-5/stoic-eudaimonia.pdf

Writer: Elisabeth Grisella Sampel

Editor: Ias Aprilia