A Stoic Approach To Problem-Solving


In the ancient history of stoic philosophy, it is commonly known that stoicism often refers to an unemotional person. One who can endure pain or hardship without complaining or showing emotions; stoicism teaches the improvement of self-control to overcome harmful feelings. The common thing among the ancient philosophers, from the one who was an enslaved person, the other who was an emperor, or one who was a water carrier, or one who was a soldier down to the senators. All they had in common was philosophy. In this article, we will unravel the problem-solving approach taken stoically.

An image of a quote from Marcus Aurelius.

Marcus Aurelius 

A Roman Emperor born over two millennia ago is perhaps the best-known stoic leader in history; at the early stage of his life, he loved boxing and hunting. He was a serious young man who was born into a prominent family. Growing up, no one could have thought that he would one day become an emperor of the empire. It was considered a mystery. 

Marcus began his reign after Emperor Antonius Pius, the husband of Marcus’s aunt who adopted him and one of the sons of Lucius Aelius, passed away in 161(CE) “Common Era”. Marcus’ reign was tough, starting with war, the rise of Christianity, and the plaque that left numerous dead. It was in philosophy that he found his intellectual interest as well as his spiritual nourishment. A man in his position, with so much power which he commands, could do whatever he wanted, and no one will question him. The adage that says absolute power corrupts was proved wrong by Marcus, who proved himself worthy of the position he held. He governed under the guidance of wisdom and virtue. This was what distinguished him from other leaders. Marcus wrote his thoughts down for himself, which were never intended to be read by others, now known as his Meditations. That shows complete self-discipline, humility, kindness, self-actualization, wisdom and strength.

The Benefits Of Problem-Solving 

In life, one must solve problems to be able to add value. Naturally, most people come to you with their problems expecting you to solve them with a magic wand. Your ability to identify a problem is a grand step to problem-solving, and then generating a solution and mapping out ways to carry out the answer is a powerful strategy; as easy as it may sound, it doesn’t always come in handy. 

1. Managing adversity 

Life is full of struggles, no doubt. But the stoic look forward till the day their adversity ends. Just as Marcus will say: “I will occasionally retreat myself the same way people take breaks to the beach or mountains ‘. He remained in control of his emotions, believing that nature unfolds itself and that getting worked up over things one cannot control is unwise. There are times you need to focus on essential items. Hence Marcus believes that you don’t get to bother about people whose actions don’t affect the common good.

2. Empathy 

Stoic people put themselves in the position of others; this enables them to communicate with others on a personal level. Understanding people is their top priority; they try to figure out why people react in a particular way. As we also know, empathy helps to understand and share the feelings of one another. 

3. Self Control 

The ability to control strong emotions to avoid temptation and make better decisions. As a human, you cannot control everything. Hence, a stoic doesn’t worry about the actions of others because they know that the only person they have control over is themselves. By mastering this, they become more calm and relaxed in situations where others might get upset or angry. 

4. Resilience 

Stoics get over painful life experiences without wasting time or worrying too much about it. They can bounce back on their feet quickly from toughness. Sometimes you put in so much work on a project only to be rejected and poorly criticized by managers or anyone overseeing the project; this is where you must develop the elasticity method of bouncing back and continuing your journey. There is a uniqueness to this phase that warrants it to be discussed. If you do creative work, you expose yourself to criticism and failure daily. Mastering this craft will help you face challenges and still bounce back.

An image of a quote from Marcus Aurelius.


Marcus Aurelius was one of the five good Emperors of Rome many years ago; his meditations and thoughts made him an exceptional leader. However, an exemplary approach to solving problems. He understood time management, having full knowledge of how to implement it. Stoics do what they enjoy; they mainly focus on “prosperity in poverty” such that they understand that a life without suffering is much better than a life full of misery because it enables them to live frugally without worrying about their possessions.

If you have always found it challenging to solve problems in everyday life, implementing these approaches and putting them into practice will go a long way.


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