When I was studying in London, I had to speak publically at a symposium and I was very nervous. I also reminded myself of the importance of the self and how challenging moments are opportunities to train self peace and virtue.
If I think of the value of gratitude and a worthy education, I think of Marcus Aurelius. If I grieve or get angry, I run to Seneca. If I think myself not worthy, I pick up my courage from Epictetus.
One daily Stoic practice that helps me reflect on my progress is the evening meditation: I reflect on my day and ask myself : What did I do right? Where is room for improvement? How do I want to tackle my challenges tomorrow?
Stoicism had been the missing piece in my life but now I have found it, it has changed my outlook on life and eased my anxieties and fears to a tolerable measure. I am eager to wake up, read, listen, study and practise it all in my daily life.
From then on, I decided I was going to face fear and criticism head-on and really taking control for everything within my power, something I would later learn and reaffirm from the Stoic teachings.
I was reading what I could find in a library in Galway, Ireland, just spending an afternoon inside when I pulled out Martha Nussbaum’s Love’s Knowledge.