In this series, we've focused on how to be more successful in following through with your goals by knowing your why. The big motivating force to base your goals on. Then we deconstructed the steps you need to turn your big pie in the sky goals into small manageable mouse-sized goals.
This post will focus on even smaller pieces of the goal process. The stuff that happens during your day. The details that change on an hour to hour or minute to minute basis.
There's a philosophy of stoicism that teaches that virtue is the highest good. The readings and meditations by Marcus Aurelius are quickly becoming a Marie Kondo sized movement. By focusing each day on an intention - you'll have a starting point to focus on higher virtues and let the small stuff in life go.
Stoicism goes deeper than that. It's not just about picking a daily intention to help you to be a better person. It's about striving to live your life in the highest honor. Stoics believed that everything was rooted in nature. So to live a good life and be filled with happiness, you would live in accordance with nature and natural laws.
The four cardinal virtues of wisdom, justice, courage, and self-discipline are at the core of Stoicism. These are very much in line with the way that I teach and the information that I'm so passionate about. The opposite of virtues are vices. The stoic vices include folly, injustice, cowardice, and indulgence.
How does that apply to goal setting? Reaching a large goal rarely comes out of a single massive action. It comes from a series of persistent and consistent small actions. It is the little things that we do on a daily basis that make a difference in the end.
Stoicism teaches the concept of "what you walk by is what you accept." We'll be exploring this concept more in upcoming blog posts as it has many applications. In this situation, we can use this concept to help us keep track of actions in line with our goals.
Let's use the same weight loss example from last week. You're stuck in the vice of cowardice because you're too afraid to tell your mom that you don't want seconds. You're more worried about hurting her feelings than meeting your own needs. This is an example of walking by the issue and accepting that it's ok when it isn't. Being stoic, you would muster the courage to set healthy boundaries and advocate for your own needs.
Or maybe you're not the one trying to lose weight. You could use that same courage to support your colleague at work who's trying so hard to lose weight. She said no to the birthday cake going around, but people keep pressuring her to have a piece. Instead of "walking by" and ignoring this, you could politely influence others to respect her decision to say no. Be an ally for someone else's success.
As you move through your day, start to notice when you act out of folly, injustice, cowardice or indulgence. Are you walking by the situation and allowing it to be as it is? Do you truly accept that to be ok? Is this action moving you towards your goal or away from it?
On the flip side, when do you act with wisdom, justice, courage or self-discipline? How do these types of action make you feel? How does this action direct you towards or away from your goal?
Using the pillars of stoicism as a loose guide, you'll have beacons to keep you on track. What you walk by is what you accept. Are you ready to fully accept your actions and their consequences?
Get started with this free download. You'll be able to find out what shape your health. You'll then know exactly what areas need the most attention and can get back on the road to feeling your best.