How to NOT Care What Others Think About You!
This post is about how to not care what others think about you, and the easiest way to do it is to apply the very popular philosophy of stoicism.
Being a stoic allowed me to change my life for the better, and there really is an art of NOT caring.
“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality”
When I first discovered Stoicism it really hit me like a tonne of bricks on so many levels.
It worried me that as a man who was well into my 30s, that I did not apply a philosophy of life.
Yes I may be religious and I am orthodox but I needed something to coincide with my faith.
Many will argue religion is enough and that is true to an extent, however as long as it had no ramifications on my faith, I decided to start doing some research.
Originally I was always drawn to how the Buddhists thought and dealt with their emotions and their constant need for peace and tranquillity in their lives.
But I wasn’t going to become a Buddhist monk.
I read some of the teachings of the Dalai Lama, and I found it to be quite fascinating.
What I noticed was that Buddhists lived an extremely minimalistic lifestyle.
They could go completely without sex, food, and other necessaries and temptations for very long periods.
I had a very strange relationship with meditations over the years.
On the plus side, I loved to quiet my mind, visualize and just relax.
On the other hand, I never meditated as a young child, and those were the happiest moments of my life.
I didn’t need to stop and meditate as a kid, why do so as an adult?
For the record I am not discriminating against anybody who does meditate, but it’s not the answer to all of life’s questions.
I also have applied a large amount of teaching from the Law of attraction.
Like attracts like, what you think about expands, and your imagination creates reality.
However, once again it has its limitations, feeling “happy all the time,” and “only positive thoughts,” is not the best or healthiest way to see the world.
I strongly believe though that it probably makes more sense to see the world for both light and dark.
Good and bad.
Heaven and hell.
I also believe all humans have the capacity for good, and what is morally correct.
Yet, if we look around there is so much noise and disruption to our brain and our spirit, it’s hard to really keep focused.
Whether is drama, work, society, the news, certain types of music, reality tv, whatever it is unfortunately having a lasting effect on our minds.
And as the law of attraction states, what we think about expands.
So we are without realizing constantly thinking about our friend’s problems, the narcissists we have in our lives drama, and so on and so forth.
Not having a clear philosophy of life, can make your life extremely difficult.
Don’t get me wrong having a philosophy won’t solve all your problems, but it can make life a little bit more meaningful and less difficult.
I agree with Dr Jordan Peterson a world famous psychologist that life truly is suffering;
Dr Peterson was the first to bring me to the attention that life truly is difficult and suffering.
Now NORMALLY you would see this with a very harsh negative point of view.
Most law of attraction gurus would ultimately say “that’s negative thinking, by acting like that it won’t achieve your goal.”
But what if I was to tell you, since applying such a mind-set I have attracted more wealth, better mental clarity, and more manifestations?
Yes, negative thinking but applied in a logical and philosophical way actually is more effective than just feeling down in the dumps and giving up on life.
I researched this more, and read some articles about how Dr Peterson was actually preaching Stoicism.
I had no idea what the word Stoicism even really meant, so I decided to look it up even more for an official definition;
“The endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.”
Then I looked up its origins;
“An ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge; the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.”
As soon as I read that, I was intrigued, and through myself into books, seminars and teachings on the subject.
It was the perfect time for me to do so, because I had just gone through a break up with a narcissist, and happened to be going through a very difficult yet important life transition.
What I have learnt about stoicism, is in very basic and simplistic terms is as humans we are often desperate to seek control of almost everything in our lives.
We want to control the weather, other people, our companies, our jobs, our bodies and so on.
When in fact we only have one thing we can control, and that is our character.
How we respond (not react), to for example a toxic person, is our choice nobody elses.
We of course have no control over what a toxic person says or does, but we have 100% of a choice to walk away and not tolerate any form of abuse.
Insecurity is something that plagued me all of my life, and still does to a degree.
But what if I was to tell you ancient stoics used to dress up as fools and walk around town wanting to be ridiculed.
The reason why they did so was to show themselves that everything external, i.e. everything outside of their being and character could never hurt them.
I immediately applied this philosophy to my life, and it has transformed almost everything.
There is a very popular trend of minimalism going around the web these past few years, and that is essentially the practice of stoicism.
Being a stoic teaches you to be grateful for what you have, but be perfectly ok with it all being taken away.
Stoics stress that everything has a time limit, and will eventually come to an end;
All things that MAY hold sentimental value, but again are external to us.
Some things we have some form of control over, i.e. what car we drive, where we live, who we decide to be friends with.
But ultimately, these are not needed in order to actually live a meaningful and successful life.
All we need is our peace and tranquillity.
In fact stoics actually tell people to not chase desires, goals or dreams.
The reason why they advise this is because they believe getting attached to a dream that may not work out will affect our tranquillity especially if it doesn’t work out.
But a way around this is to still work towards a goal and a dream whilst being perfectly happy and grateful for where you are.
This powerful secret will manifest more desires and goods into your life because you will naturally be feeling more abundant by doing so!
I am even grateful to have this blog and platform to be talking and writing for you to read it.
Seriously, this is what allows you to become a more successful person.
Because you ultimately know what you are grateful for.
You may be thinking “but I have high standards, I want to be a millionaire!”
Some of the most successful and richest people in the world such as Tim Ferris, Robert Greene, and even Elon Musk are practicing stoics.
They are grateful for what they have, and are enough without the temptations of all externals.
It can be summed up by this great line in a Marvel movie of all things;
This underappreciated scene shows Peter Parker (Spider-man), begging Tony Stark to keep this special suit that was gifted to him.
He is “nothing without the suit!”
Whereas Stark emphasizes “if you are nothing without that suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”
A truly powerful statement, and incredibly Stoic if I’ve ever seen one.
We are more than our cars, our partners, our homes, and our money.
We are creators, imaginers, and good people if we are appreciative of who we are and our characters.
Marcus Aurelius was a roman emperor, and a successful one if that.
Yet he too was a practicing stoic himself.
“Almost nothing material is needed for a happy life, for he who has understood existence.”
The irony of applying Stoicism into your life is how much success comes your way as a result.
People and contacts will reach out of whom you would never expect to hear from.
Work flows better, because you are doing your best and hitting your targets irrespective of if fails or not.
Your tranquillity is your highest priority, and you couldn’t care less about walking away from toxic people, situations or chasing the wrong things.
Do your own research, because if you do not or have not got a philosophy in your life, it is sure as hell time you got one.