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Stoicism: Be A Mountain

by | Sep 3, 2021 | Self-Help

Stoicism: Be A Mountain

by | Sep 3, 2021 | Self-Help

According to Wikipedia, Stoicism is an ancient school of philosophy focused on attaining true happiness by rejecting the desire for pleasure, fear of pain, and any resistance to the natural order of the present moment. Stoicism emphasizes the importance of moral virtue in daily life as well as the understanding that external factors (money, status, pleasure, health, relationships) are neither inherently good or bad.

In my my discovery of life I have become what I would call a “casual student” of Stoicism. I’ve read several pieces and watched numerous videos on the topic. I have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about different practices of Stoicism and meditating on ways to develop a more stoic mindset. has a great introductory guide on Stoicism.


A core element of the philosophy, by my observation, is that one is best when he or she is unmoved by the external factors of life. Car broke down? Unmoved. Computer crashed? Unmoved. Rejected by a friend or lover? Completely unmoved. This is not a willful indifference but rather a conscious acceptance. There are very little things in life that any person can truly control. Accepting this fact and taking full responsibility over what one can actually control is key to Stoicism.

With this in mind, I would like to craft a metaphor: the metaphor that one is to be a mountain. In a geological sense, yes I suppose mountains do move and/or erode over time, but that is over the course of millennia. For metaphorical purposes, let’s just imagine that they don’t.

A mountain is large and strong. A mountain gets blasted by wind, rain, snow, and snow on a frequent basis. These elements will inflict themselves upon the mountain in an effort to erode it down, but the mountain stands tall. The mountain never moves or crumbles. The mountain holds up. No matter what the weather throws at it, the mountain remains unmoved by outside forces.

“Be the best you can be every day. Strive to obtain virtue.”

In your daily life, practice being a mountain. Do not allow the wind and rain to wear you down. Do not let yourself be moved by external factors. The only thing that you may every actually be able to command fully in life is yourself. Be the best you can be every day. Strive to obtain virtue. Detach from your desires and fears and live life in acceptance as one with nature.

None of this is to say that you cannot pursue worthwhile causes and avoid unnecessary suffering, but do not do so with an emotional attachment. Focus, work hard, and move carefully to find what you are seeking in life. Do not, however, allow yourself to crumble when you face difficulties or lose what you believe you want. Attaching yourself to a specific outcome may bring great pain.

Photo Credits: Unsplash

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