The Meaning of Life

stoicism Nov 27, 2023
Scott Perry Promoting a Blog Post about Stoicism

In the seventh grade, I was introduced to Stoicism when a teacher loaned me his copy of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. This beautiful philosophy of life has informed and inspired everything I’ve done since.

The following is lesson one of my online course, Stoicism 101. I recently made this a complimentary course inside the free Creative on Purpose community1 on the Success Finder learning platform. Click the link in the footnotes to join the community and access the entire course.

“Love the humble art you have learned and take rest in it.” ― Marcus Aurelius

Have you ever asked yourself, “What do I want out of life?”

Or maybe a variation like “What is the meaning of life?”

If so, did you come up with an answer? What was it?

Often, we answer with things we want, like lots of money, a big home, a loving spouse, or a good job. But what I’m asking is, what is the one thing that would make for a good life, a life worth living and well spent?

Without an answer to this question, you are missing a grand goal in living. You lack a philosophy of life.

Today, floating through life without meaning or purpose is pretty easy. Modern life is full of distractions and promises that can entice us and even encourage us to ask big questions like “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What’s it all for?”

However, in ancient times, investigating and developing a philosophy of life was a daily pursuit by everyday people like you and me. As a result, many competing philosophical approaches were born.

Yet, they agreed that the answer to “What do I want out of life?” was “To flourish and be happy!” The ancient Greeks even had a word for it, εὐδαιμονία or eudaimonia.

Also, each school of thought developed ideas and strategies for achieving the goals of thriving and tranquility.

Some examples of ancient Greek and Roman philosophies of life that enjoyed some popularity were Cynicism, Skepticism, Epicureanism, and Stoicism.

(Ironically, none of these ancient philosophical disciplines had much to do with anything we currently associate with these terms!)

Of these, the one that has endured is Stoicism.


We’ll investigate that a bit more in the next lesson.

Before then, answer this question. What underlying assumptions or ideas should any philosophy of life be founded on?

“What then can guide a man? One thing and only one, philosophy. But this consists in keeping the daemon [spirit] within a man free from violence and unharmed, superior to pains and pleasures, doing nothing without a purpose, nor yet falsely and with hypocrisy.” ― Marcus Aurelius

1 Creative on Purpose community on Success Finder

Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose

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