Tools of PMA Science

Toolkit: PMA, Stoicism, Psychology

I’ve been asked if thinking is difficult and my answer is yes.

It has been a question I have asked, and I have gotten more answers about what it isn’t than what it is.

Let’s take a look at Carl Jung’s famous quote.

“Thinking is difficult, that is why most people judge” – Carl Jung

Like many people, I have always loved this quote, but it turns out he never actually said it. However, he did say Thinking is difficult, therefore let the herd pronounce judgment!, which may explain the misappropriation. Jung’s similar quote appears on page 46 of ‘Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies’, first published in English in 1959 and later included as part of the Collected Works of C.G. Jung – Civilization in Transition – Volume 10.

As a result of the above quote in 2019, I began reading in order to find out whether Jung was right or wrong. As such, I’m presenting the following toolkit on this blog to enlighten us with tools from Jung, Freud, Rene Descartes, etc. For example, I recently read about Descartes’ concept of “Cogito Ergo Sum” which translates to “I think, therefore I am”. This concept suggests that by doubting our own existence, we can come to the realization that we exist.

Furthermore, Rene Descartes was an avid reader of Stoicism, as I describe briefly in my book The Stoic Journey: Traveling to Learn Emotional Control.

When it comes to thinking for oneself, there are many different approaches one can take. However, one combination that has proven to be particularly effective is that of psychology, positive mental attitude (PMA), and stoicism.

Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior, and can be incredibly useful in helping individuals understand themselves and their thought patterns. Positive mental attitude, on the other hand, is a mindset that focuses on optimism and positivity, even in the face of adversity. Additionally, Stoicism emphasizes the importance of living according to reason and virtue, and accepting whatever life throws at you with equanimity.

When these three approaches are combined, individuals can develop a powerful toolkit for thinking for themselves. Here’s how it works:

  1. Psychology helps individuals understand their own minds.

By studying psychology, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their own thought patterns and behaviors. For example, they may come to realize that they tend to dramatize situations or that they struggle with anxiety. Armed with this knowledge, they can begin to make changes and develop healthier thought patterns. With this understanding, individuals can work to identify the root causes of their thoughts and behaviors and develop strategies for addressing them. Additionally, by recognizing their own patterns, they can be more mindful of how they respond to situations and be better equipped to make positive changes in their lives.

  1. PMA helps individuals stay positive and focused on their goals.

When individuals adopt a positive mental attitude, they are better equipped to deal with the ups and downs of life. Instead of getting bogged down by setbacks or failures, they are able to stay focused on their goals and maintain a sense of optimism. This can be incredibly helpful when trying to think for oneself, as it allows individuals to stay true to their own values and aspirations. Having a positive attitude can help individuals to think more clearly and make better decisions. It helps to keep them motivated and focused on their goals, even in the face of adversity. Plus, it can have a positive effect on their physical and mental health, as it reduces stress and encourages them to stay balanced.

  1. Stoicism helps individuals accept what they cannot change.

Finally, stoicism can be incredibly helpful in teaching individuals how to accept things they cannot change. By focusing on reason and virtue, individuals can learn to let go of things outside of their control and instead place their attention on what they can control – their own thoughts, behaviors, and reactions. This can be incredibly helpful in allowing individuals to think for themselves. This is because it frees them from worrying about external factors and allows them to focus on their own internal compass. Reason and virtue provide a framework for making decisions and taking action. By learning to rely on this internal compass, rather than external influences, individuals are better able to make decisions that are in their own true interest, rather than in the interest of someone else. This can help them to become more self-reliant and self-sufficient.

When these three approaches are combined, you as an individual can develop a powerful toolkit for thinking for yourself. By understanding your own mind, staying positive and focused on your own goals, and accepting what you cannot change, you can develop a strong sense of self. This will enable you to make decisions that are true to your own values and aspirations. So if you’re looking to think for yourself, consider incorporating psychology, a positive mental attitude, and stoicism into your own approach. You can overcome obstacles and achieve your goals by applying psychological principles such as self-determination theory and a growth mindset.

Share which tool you are currently using or browse articles on this site to learn more!

Cheers,
Jay Pacheco

The Fascinating Tools to Explore The Mind

Fascinating tools to understand the mind by blending psychology, neuropsychology, neuroplasticity, Stoicism, and Positive Mental Attitude (PMA).

PMA Science is what we call it!

Welcome to the fascinating world of psychology and neuroplasticity! In brief, here we will explore how your brain impacts your behavior, thoughts, and emotions in a short introduction to these branches of mental science.

In addition, this piece will conclude with a tiny connection between psychology, neuropsychology, neuroplasticity, positive mental attitude (PMA), and stoicism.

Psychology:

The study of psychology involves the analysis of the mind, behavior, and mental processes. It explains how humans and animals think, feel, and behave. It also explains the underlying psychological processes that govern these processes. It aims to understand the way people and animals think, feel, and behave.

Among the major functions of psychology is to describe, explain, predict, and modify behavior in chemical and electrical processes.

Description involves identifying and classifying behaviors and mental processes, such as emotions, thoughts, and attitudes.

Explanation involves determining the causes and underlying processes that give rise to these behaviors and mental processes.

Prediction involves using this knowledge to make accurate forecasts about future behavior and mental processes.

Modification involves developing and implementing strategies to change behavior and mental processes in a desired way, such as through therapeutic interventions or behavior modification techniques.

In addition, psychology encompasses a wide range of subfields, including social psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, and many more. Its applications are far-reaching and diverse, and include fields such as education, health care, business, and law enforcement, among others.

Exploring and becoming familiar with the inner workings of your brain can help you gain a deeper understanding of how it influences your behavior, thoughts, and emotions. Lastly, your brain is responsible for processing information from your environment, storing memories, and coordinating your body’s movements.

Psychology 1.1:

The brain is made up of several different structures, each with its own unique functions. The cerebrum, or outer layer of the brain, is responsible for higher-level thinking, such as reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making. The cerebellum, located at the back of the brain, is responsible for controlling movement and balance. The brainstem, located at the base of the brain, is crucial for regulating key bodily functions, such as breathing and heart rate.

For example one of the most significant functions of the brain is its ability to regulate your emotions. The limbic system, a group of structures located deep within the brain, is responsible for processing emotions and regulating your responses to them. For example, when you feel threatened or afraid, the amygdala, a part of the limbic system, sends a signal to the rest of the brain, triggering the “fight or flight” response.

Your brain also plays a significant role in your thoughts and perceptions. The way you interpret and process information is influenced by your brain’s structure and function. For example, people who suffer from depression may have an imbalance of certain neurotransmitters in their brain, which can impact their mood, thoughts, and behaviors.

By studying the brain, psychologists and neuropsychologists can gain a better understanding of how it influences behavior, thoughts, and emotions. This knowledge can be used to develop interventions and therapies that can help individuals overcome psychological and neurological disorders. Through ongoing research and exploration, we continue to learn more about the inner workings of the brain and how it shapes our daily lives.

Neurons & Synapses Interaction

Throughout the nervous system and brain, neurons play a fundamental role. They are specialized cells that transmit and process information through electrical and chemical signals. The basic function of neurons is to communicate with other neurons, muscles, or glands in the body.

Each neuron consists of a cell body, dendrites, and an axon. Dendrites are tree-like branches that receive signals from other neurons, while the axon is a long, thin fiber that carries the signal away from the cell body to other neurons. The end of the axon forms a specialized structure called a synapse, which allows the neuron to transmit its signal to another neuron or to a muscle or gland.

Synapses are the connections between neurons that allow them to communicate with one another. When a neuron receives a signal from a neighboring neuron, it fires an electric impulse that travels down the thaxon. This impulse triggers the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters at the synapse. These neurotransmitters then bind to receptors on the receiving neuron. This causes an electrical signal to be generated in that neuron, which in turn can generate a new electrical signal or relay the signal to other neurons.

The interaction between neurons and synapses is what allows the brain to process and integrate information from the environment and generate appropriate responses. The brain contains billions of neurons that are connected by trillions of synapses, forming complex neural networks that underlie all aspects of cognition, emotion, perception, and behavior.

Different regions of the brain contain specialized neural networks that are involved in different functions, such as vision, hearing, movement, language, and memory. The precise patterns of neural activity within these networks determine how the brain processes and responds to incoming information, and how it generates complex behaviors and experiences.

Overall, the functions of neurons, synapses, and their interaction within the brain are essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. This is essential for all aspects of human experience and behavior.

Neuropsychology:

Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology concerned with how a person’s cognition and behavior are related to the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Professionals in this branch of psychology often focus on how injuries or illnesses of the brain affect cognitive and behavioral functions.

2.2 Exploring Neuropsychology

Exploring the basic structure and functions of the brain is essential to understanding how it works and how it influences behavior, thoughts, and emotions.

Researchers use a variety of techniques to study the brain, including neuroimaging, electrophysiology, and lesion studies.

Since science has divided the brain into several different structures, each with its own unique functions. The following parts of the brain function in this manner, making it easier for neuropsychologists to study and understand. The cerebrum, or outer layer of the brain, is divided into two hemispheres, the left and the right. The left hemisphere is responsible for language processing, logical thinking, and analytical reasoning.

The right hemisphere is responsible for creativity, spatial awareness, and emotional processing. The cerebellum, located at the back of the brain, is essential for coordinating movement and balance. The brainstem, located at the base of the brain, is responsible for regulating various bodily functions, such as breathing and heart rate.

Neuroimaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), allow researchers to visualize the structure and activity of the brain. By tracking blood flow or the distribution of certain chemicals in the brain, researchers can gain insight into how the brain functions during different tasks or in response to different stimuli.

Electrophysiological techniques, such as electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG), measure the electrical and magnetic activity of the brain. These techniques can help researchers understand how different brain regions communicate with one another and how the brain processes sensory information.

Lesion studies involve examining the brains of individuals who have experienced brain damage due to injury or disease. By studying the effects of damage on a person’s behavior and cognitive functioning, researchers can gain insight into the functions of different brain regions. This is at the neuron and synaptic levels.

By using the above and other techniques, researchers continue to uncover new information about the structure and function of the brain. This knowledge can be used to develop interventions and therapies for individuals with neurological and psychological disorders. The study of the brain is an ongoing and ever-evolving field, with new discoveries and breakthroughs occurring every day.

  1. Neuroplasticity basics explained

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change and adapt in response to various learning experiences, learning, and injury. It is the process by which the brain creates new connections between neurons or strengthens existing ones, allowing for the formation of new neural pathways. This means that the brain is not a static, unchanging structure, but rather a highly dynamic and flexible organ that is constantly reshaping itself throughout our lives. Neuroplasticity can be harnessed for positive outcomes, such as recovering from injury, improving cognitive abilities, or enhancing learning and memory.

Connecting PMA and Stoicism:

Exploring the inner workings of your brain can be useful in developing a positive mental attitude and practicing stoicism.

Understanding how your brain impacts your behavior, thoughts, and emotions can help you identify areas for improvement and develop strategies for managing negative thoughts and emotions.

Note: 1

In Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) Science and Stoicism, the brain is the hardware, and the mind is the software (bios or pure astral energy), whereas all other sciences call the brain and the mind the same thing.

Psychology, Neuroscience, and Neuroplasticity can provide a great deal of insight into the hardware (brain) and some parts of the bios (mind) in detail. Alternatively, Stoicism and PMA focus primarily on the mind and cosmic and nature philosophical level (BIOS/THOUGHT/ MINDSET), coupled with a decision to live in harmony with nature and stress the things we can control and the things we cannot control, along with our understanding of nature and our own feelings. This could be the canvas where we choose to rewrite our mental codes if we want to rewrite a happy thought for example.

Note 2.

Due to their nature disabilities, people born with disabilities can’t rewrite their mindset! -or perhaps needs more study?

PMA

Positive mental attitude is a mindset state characterized by optimism, resilience, and a belief in one’s abilities to overcome challenges. By understanding how the brain processes and responds to different stimuli, you can develop techniques for training your brain to focus on positive thoughts and emotions. For example, practicing gratitude, focusing on your strengths, and engaging in activities that bring you joy can help boost your mood and build a positive mental attitude.

Stoicism:

It is a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of self-control, rationality, and acceptance of the present moment. By understanding how the brain processes emotions, you can develop techniques for managing negative thoughts and emotions and practicing stoicism. For example, mindfulness meditation can help you cultivate a non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts and emotions, allowing you to respond to them in a calm and rational manner. Similarly, reframing negative thoughts and practicing cognitive restructuring can help you challenge and change negative thought patterns.

The World of the Mind and its Tools

The study of the brain in psychology has revealed that the brain is highly adaptable. This is because it is capable of changing its structure and function in response to varying experiences and learning. This ability of the brain to change is known as neuroplasticity.

Positive mental attitude and stoicism are two concepts that have been associated with psychological well-being and resilience. Positive mental attitudes involve cultivating optimistic and constructive thinking patterns, whereas stoicism involves accepting things that are beyond our control and focusing on the present moment.

Research has shown that positive mental attitude and stoicism can have a significant impact on the brain and its function. For example, positive thinking has been shown to activate certain areas of the brain associated with reward and motivation. Negative thinking can activate areas associated with stress and anxiety. Similarly, practicing stoicism can help reduce stress and anxiety by promoting a sense of acceptance and equanimity.

Neuroplasticity is also relevant to positive mental attitude and stoicism. This is because it suggests that these attitudes can be cultivated through intentional practice and can lead to lasting changes in the brain. For example, research has shown that mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing on the present moment and accepting one’s thoughts and emotions without judgment, can increase the density of gray matter in areas of the brain associated with attention and emotional regulation.

In addition, neuroplasticity suggests that individuals can overcome negative thinking patterns and develop positive mental attitude through intentional practice and cognitive restructuring. For example, cognitive-behavioural therapy is a form of therapy that is based on the idea that negative thoughts and beliefs can be changed through conscious effort and practice, leading to improvements in mental health and well-being.

Overall, the study of the brain in psychology and neuroplasticity can help us understand how positive mental attitude and stoicism can lead to improved mental health and well-being, and how intentional practice can promote lasting changes in the brain. By cultivating positive mental attitude and practicing stoicism, individuals can learn to cope with life’s challenges in a healthy and adaptive way, leading to greater resilience and emotional well-being.

Final thoughts

Exploring the inner workings of your brain can be a powerful tool in developing a positive mental attitude and practicing stoicism.

Stoicism, the philosophy that teaches individuals to focus on what they can control, rather than what they cannot. This is done to maintain a calm and rational mindset in the face of challenges.

Neuroplasticity can be harnessed to strengthen the neural pathways that support positive mental attitudes and stoicism. For example, research has shown that regularly practicing mindfulness meditation can lead to changes in the brain that increase empathy, emotional regulation, and cognitive flexibility – all traits that are associated with a positive mental attitude and stoicism.

Similarly, intentionally focusing on positive thoughts and experiences, and consciously choosing to interpret events in a positive light, can help reinforce the neural pathways that support these attitudes. Over time, these practices can become habitual, and the brain will naturally default to a more cheerful and stoic outlook.

It’s helpful to note that neuroplasticity is not a quick fix, and changing the brain takes time and consistent effort. But with patience and persistence, it is possible to rewire the brain (thoughts) to support a more positive and stoic mindset, leading to enhanced resilience and well-being.

As a final example, we have Dr. Joe Dispenza as a living person. He decided to be a better person by practicing gratitude with a positive mental attitude. He recovered from his injuries quicker because he decided to have a positive mindset. And now Joe Dispenza, is a neuroscientist, researcher, and New York Times bestselling author. -Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind.

Let us know in the comments below what you’d like to learn more about. Also, let us know how this article might help you cope with your daily struggles using psychology, neuroplasticity, PMA, and stoicism?

Cheers,
Jay Pacheco

My first run in 2023

Taking a run in Marum Skogen on a sunny winter day


Taking My First Run through Marum Skogen, Sandefjord on a Sunny Winter Day February 12th of 2023. Marum Skogen is a nature reserve located in Sandefjord, Norway, and it is known for its stunning summer and winter scenery. Today on a sunny winter day, the snow-covered trees and small hills created a picturesque contrast against the bright blue sky, making it the perfect place to go for a run.

 

Winter days in Sandefjord can be cold and gloomy, but not today! The sun was shining brightly, making the snow glisten and the air crisp and invigorating. In the end, I decided to take advantage of the pleasant weather for my first run following work, while exploring and enjoying Marum Skogen at the same time. I’ve been meaning to run through Marum Skogen for a while now, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance. The forest was even more stunning than I expected, with its snow-covered trees and sparkling streams. I could hear the crunch of snow under my feet as I ran, and the only other sounds were the chirping of birds and the occasional rustle of leaves.

 

The warmth of my muscles and the ease of my breathing increased as I progressed deeper into the forest. I was surrounded by peaceful stillness, and it was an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. I ran for about an hour, taking in all the sights and sounds around me. I even saw a few horses eating outside along the way, which was a real treat!

 

I came across a small clearing in the forest at one point on the trip. I decided to stop and take a few pictures in that clearing to catch my breath. The sun was shining down on me, and I felt so grateful for this moment of peace and serenity. I stood there for a few minutes, taking in the beauty of the forest and feeling the warmth of the sun on my face.

 

My run through Marum Skogen continued after my break. I couldn’t believe how much energy I had and how happy I felt. I’m sure it was due to the fresh air, the scenic scenery, and the peaceful atmosphere.

 

On a sunny day, how do you like to spend your time?

 

Cheers
Jay Pacheco

IMG_1963.jpeg

My visit to Kristiania Høyskolen: A Journey of Positivity and Inspiration


Kristiania Høyskolen and my Stoic Experience

Visiting Kristiania Høyskolen and Embracing a Positive Mental Attitude and a Stoic Experience

Our ability to overcome challenges and obstacles in life depends on cultivating a positive mental attitude and embracing stoicism. One way to achieve this is by visiting places like Kristiania Høyskolen, where you can immerse yourself in a supportive and empowering environment.

Kristiania Høyskolen, located near Stortinget in Oslo, Norway, is a modern and over 100 years old innovative university that offers a range of programs both online and on campus focused on such as psychology, and other professional programs. With a focus on creativity, entrepreneurship, and a newly constructed-renovated building, the campus provides a unique learning experience.

When visiting Kristiania Høyskolen, you can’t help but be inspired by the positive energy and creative spirit that permeates the campus. From the students to the faculty, everyone seems to be on a mission to make a difference in the world, and this sense of purpose is contagious.

As you explore the campus, you’ll encounter a wide range of facilities and resources designed to support student learning and well-being. From cutting-edge technology in the classrooms to beautiful new coloring spaces for relaxation and reflection, Kristiania Høyskolen has everything you need to thrive.

One of the things that sets Kristiania Høyskolen apart from other universities is its focus on holistic education. The university believes that success in life is about more than just academic achievement. It offers a range of programs and services to support students’ mental, physical, and emotional health.

In this environment, it’s easy to adopt a positive mental attitude and embrace stoicism, but of course stoicism isn’t part of the curriculum. For now, PMA Science University offers stoicism and positive mental attitude (PMA) articles, ebooks and self-learning studies online. Furthermore, at Kristiania Høyskolen you’ll be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share your passion for personal growth and development, and you’ll have access to the tools and resources you need to overcome any challenges that come your way.

In conclusion, visiting Kristiania Høyskolen is an incredible opportunity to cultivate a positive mental attitude and embrace stoicism. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or simply looking to improve your life, you’ll find that the campus offers everything you need to grow, thrive, and make a positive impact on the world.

My visit to Kristiania Høyskolen: A Journey of Positivity and Inspiration

Recently (February 7th 2023), I had the opportunity to visit Kristiania Høyskolen, one of the most renowned higher education institutions in Norway. From the moment I stepped on campus, I was immediately struck by the positive energy and welcoming atmosphere that permeated throughout the school.

As I explored the facilities, I had the privilege of meeting with several members of the faculty and staff, who were all incredibly friendly and passionate about their work. Their positive attitudes and enthusiasm for teaching and learning were contagious. I couldn’t help but feel inspired by their dedication to their students and to the school as a whole.

I also had the chance to meet with the rector of the school, who was equally warm and welcoming. During our short conversation, she shared with me a bit about her vision for the future of Kristiania Hyskolen. She also shared her commitment to creating a positive and inclusive environment for all students and faculty members.

One thing that particularly impressed me about the rector was her focus on fostering a sense of community within the school. She spoke about the importance of creating opportunities for students to connect with one another and with their teachers. This creates a more supportive and inspiring learning environment.

As someone who is passionate about education and the impact it can have on individuals and communities, visiting Kristiania Høyskolen was truly an incredible experience. I’m looking forward to another visit where I hope I can see more of the campus.

I also noticed the positivity and dedication of the faculty and staff. This, as well as the rector’s vision for the future, left me feeling inspired and hopeful for what is to come.

In conclusion, my visit to Kristiania Høyskolen was a testament to the power of positivity and the impact it can have on individuals and communities. The warmth, passion, and dedication of the faculty and staff, as well as the rector’s vision for the future, will stay with me for a long time to come. I look forward to following the continued success of this exceptional institution.

In addition, there are many things you can do with Stoic and the PMA Tools, such as holding a positive attitude and letting things be that you cannot control.

Tell us about your new experiences while visiting inspiring places!

Cheers,
Jay Pacheco

Focusing on the Positive Aspects of Daily Life

5 STOIC Questions that will improve your mindset and change your life!

 

In meditating and writing;

Ask yourself:

5 STOIC Questions that will improve your mindset and change your life!

Made me realize that I also needed to answer these questions for myself. In order to accomplish this, I had to do a bit of research. I also had to skim over my previous readings on Stoicism from Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius among others.

Stoic & PMA Science Wisdom for Everyday Life. Inspiration & Motivational Writing is the theme of both www.pmascience.com and @pmascience on Instagram.

Under the PMA science platform many other self-development tools can be found, so follow along, get inspired, and most importantly, take action.

Here are the 5 Stoic questions, with some insight for you!

Ask yourself:

5 STOIC Questions that will improve your mindset and change your life!

1. What does my ideal day look like?

2 What is the most meaningful thing?

3. Who do I spend time with?

4. Is this in my control?

5. Is this who I want to be?

Stoic & PMA Science Wisdom for Everyday

Life.

 

WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL DAY LOOK LIKE?

“If a man knows not which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” – Seneca

If you don’t know what your ideal day looks like, how are you supposed to make decisions or plans for ensuring that you actually get to experience them on a regular basis?

Seneca’s quote reminds us that a fulfilling life comes from living the most enjoyable and fulfilling days, and from knowing which port to sail to.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL THING?

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”– Epictetus

If you don’t know what the most meaningful thing is to you, how could you determine if you’re making it your first priority? How could you know if you’re taking the right steps to get it?

Make a habit of knowing that and don’t deceive yourself. You have to know what is meaningful and own it. Only then can you understand what matters and what doesn’t. It’s just like Epictetus’s quote.

 

WHO DO YOU SPEND TIME WITH?

“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” – Jim Rhon

This law of averages, which is the theory that the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes.

It’s who we spend time with that influences who we become more than any other factor.

The people you spend most time with dictate what you do and what you do dictates who you become. This holds true for what you read, what you watch, what you eat and what you think about.

Your life tends to resemble its environment. So choose your surroundings wisely and disciple yourself to find your own happiness.

 

IS THIS IN MY CONTROL?

Our control over some things is limited, while others are beyond our control.

Things under our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things under our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered.

Among the things we cannot control are our bodies, properties, reputations, commands, other people and, in other words, anything that is not under our control. These things are weak, slavish, restrained, and belong to others, making us slaves. But our responses to external events are under our control if we know how to respond.

Making this distinction will make you happier, make you stronger and make you more conscious. This is because it concentrates your resources in the places where they matter most to you.

 

IS THIS WHO I WANT TO BE?

You are the sum of what you do daily, and who you spend time with, so ask yourself whenever you’re doing something: Is this reflecting the person I want to be? What do I see myself to be?

How we do anything is how we do most of everything. That is how society thinks we are, and it tends to be true. So ask yourself the above questions about every action, thought and word. A self-image or belief cannot replace this, because it adds up.

I hope you enjoy answering the 5 Stoic questions and please share your progress or share this post with someone who you think can benefit from it.

Cheers,
Jay Pacheco

 

 

The Art of Discovering and Maintaining Joy in Your Life

Today, most people are searching for happiness, and I admit that at some point I was also searching for happiness. Until I hit the wall (Jeg truffet veggen) as Norwegians say when they are under a lot of stress and cannot cope with it anymore. The truth is that I have hit many walls in my life, although it has only been within the last 2-3 years that I have begun to understand what happiness and joy are, after using discoveries by my own curiosity to heal myself through Stoicism and the Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) tools.

Over the past few years, I have conducted some personal research by reading a number of books on psychology, stoicism, philosophy, self-help, PMA Science of Success, Sumerian and Acadian records, as well as biographies of other well-known people who have experienced similar setbacks as myself and who now own businesses, as well as watching television interviews about happiness and joy. Both in the past and recently, I asked people what joy and happiness meant to them. Many people talk about their children, their jobs, their cars, their careers and the list seems endless. However, very rarely do I come across one of them who tells me that happiness is what they breathe every day. Someone like this has hit the wall very hard and is grateful.

In short, one of the popular concepts in today’s culture is passion. It is all-too-common to hear voices in our culture argue that finding and securing passion is the end goal of a purposeful life.

Could that be a lie?

Let’s take a moment to consider the ancient Stoics with their positive mental attitude (PMA).

The Stoics disagreed. Why? Because the end goal of Stoicism was a virtuous life—and “passion,” as understood in their time, was a threat as it still is in our times if not understood correctly. The Stoics listed four passions that every philosopher should avoid. They were: Distress, Fear, Lust and Delight.

Moreover, they believed that passions were what contributed to our misery. To the experts and today’s gurus, TV experts, and psychologists who assure us that passion—that unbridled enthusiasm, that willingness to pounce on what’s in front of us with the full measure of our zeal—is our most significant asset, Seneca being the wealthiest person during his time, and after losing everything and being exile 2-3 times would ask, “how can such wavering and unstable persons possess any good that is fixed and lasting?

This man understood the meaning of happiness and joy, and I know there are lots of us who also understand what Seneca meant.

So what should we pursue?

Where do we find joy?

And how do we keep it?

Seneca’s answer comes in his letter, On the True Joy which Comes from Philosophy:

“It comes from a good conscience, from honorable purposes, from right actions, from contempt of the gifts of chance, from an even and calm way of living which treads but one path…There are only a few who control themselves and their affairs by a guiding purpose; the rest do not proceed; they are merely swept along, like objects afloat in a river. And of these objects, some are held back by sluggish waters and are transported gently; others are torn along by a more violent current; some, which are nearest the bank, are left there as the current slackens; and others are carried out to sea by the onrush of the stream. Therefore, we should decide what we wish, and abide by the decision.”

Unshakeable joy comes from purpose. We saw at the beginning of this piece that facing the wall is unshakeable, and if we learn something from it, then we will understand what joy really means.

In something far larger than yourself. In perspective and gratitude. In the wisdom that Stoicism teaches us. It might not be as exciting or glamorous as you might expect. It might be a bit slower. But it’s far more durable and meaningful.

The Stoics believed that reason was the antidote to passion—whether it was taking its form in envy, timidity, excitement, obsession, or pride. The Stoics strove to live “in agreement with nature”, and “reason” was nature’s most precious gift, so living by nature meant, first of all, living by reason.

In line with The Stoics and Napoleon Hill, self-seeking, cowardice, grief, and all other negative emotions can only enter the mind with the consent of own reason.

Stoicism and a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) both provide techniques for maintaining alertness of the mind if one wants to keep evil emotions at bay.

Another set of tools used by clinicians today is Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), among others.

As a result, Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Beck helped develop Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which was derived from the Stoics, and Stoicism isn’t well known to most psychologists today.

What is promised in return is no less than freedom from passion—a word associated with the classical notion of suffering and passiveness. With enough practice, passions can be exiled from the citadel of the self. Neither unhappiness nor misfortune can touch you when you control your passions. Once you are free of your passions, you are independent of the world, possessing an unshakable sense of contentment.

Finding joy will take work, discipline, and self-reflection. But it’s in there. It has always been inside you. Dig deep. Find it.

In conclusion, finding happiness and joy begins with finding your life’s purpose. When you know this, joy and happiness follow because they come from deep within you.

In order to maintain happiness or joy, you need to maintain a positive mental attitude (PMA) at all times. The Stoics of ancient times did the same thing, so we can too.

When you discover your purpose, joy comes along. With a stoic attitude and a positive mental attitude, you’ll have joy you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

What is joy and happiness for you?

Cheers,

Jay Pacheco

Stoic way to heal Yourself, by spending time in Nature

Even the most anti-outdoorsy type has to admit that they feel calmer when they smell the fresh air and see the sunlight filtering in through the leaves. It fills us with a sense of comfort and relaxation.

Not only does it make us feel happy, but it also heals us from the inside out. It shows in how we think more clearly and how our moods are restored when we’re around nature.

Continue reading to learn more about how to heal yourself by visiting nature more often.

Why Do We Feel Blessed When We’re in Nature?

Getting back to nature acts as a reminder that we’re all part of the natural world called the earth. We’re all connected somehow, which is why you feel at peace when you’re in a quiet forest or by the seashore.

Think of when you walk barefoot on the beach or a patch of green grass. You know that pleasant feeling you get? The setting makes you feel like you’re in a quiet garden house, comfortable, relaxed, and at ease.

And the most rewarding part is all the stress and tension you’ve been holding onto melts away somehow. It’s like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and you feel freer and lighter.

How Can We Reconnect with Nature?

Finding opportunities to reconnect with nature and take advantage of its healing benefits can be a challenge in our hectic lifestyles. Yet, you don’t have to be camping in the middle of nowhere to enjoy nature. Instead, there are ways you can do just that right from the comfort of your own home.

Take a look.

Gardening

Don’t lose hope if you’re not into hiking or camping outdoors. You can still be close to nature but in a different way.

For example, depending on the season, you could plant a vegetable garden both inside, or outside your home. Tending to plants allows you to spend a good deal of time with nature and connect with mother earth.

You get to breathe in the fresh smell of the soil and the plants themselves. But, of course, it’s even more enjoyable if you’re planting fragrant plants, such as jasmine, roses, or lilies during the spring and summer.

You also get to connect with nature in a hands-on, visceral way that, for some people, can become very personal. In fact, many gardeners have said that when they were tending their gardens, they felt a deeper bond with nature they hadn’t felt before.

Many also feel that gardening makes them feel like they’re part of something much larger than themselves. This special connection allows them to bridge the gap between our hectic, modern human world and the natural world.

Mindfulness Meditation

Being outdoors is such a wonderful opportunity to slow down and breathe. Look around and see all the colors around you. Take in how the light plays through the leaves or reflects off a big, shiny rock.

Next, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Inhale as much fresh, clean air as you can to cleanse your lungs of the smog and fumes we’re so used to taking in.

During the summer, stop and listen. Take the time to listen to the birds and crickets chirping, as well as any other creatures, big or small.

During the winter if it snows, go out and enjoy the snow. If you live in a place where there is no snow in the winter, still step outside and breathe in the fresh air and listen to the wind.

Also, if there’s a brook or stream nearby, pay close attention to the sound of the water. Studies show that the sound of running water is calming and can even have an antidepressant effect.

Yet, the most valuable thing to listen for in nature is nothingness. That calm, peaceful feeling has become so rare that we sometimes don’t know just how much we miss it.

Forest Bathing

Forest bathing,’ or ‘shinrin-yoku’ in Japanese, is the art of moving slowly and mindfully through a forest. The aim of this Asian practice is for you to engage all five senses along the way.

So, with each step, you take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings. This experience is similar to mindfulness meditation, which we mentioned above.

Yet, it offers benefits beyond stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system or reducing your stress levels. (Your parasympathetic nervous system is a network of nerves that relaxes your body after periods of stress or danger. It also helps run life-sustaining processes, like digestion, during times when you feel safe and relaxed.) Forest bathing also helps increase anti-inflammatory properties in your body and boost your immune system, all thanks to the terpenes you inhale as you’re walking through the forest.


Continuation in a stoic way…

More and more people are starting to realize that the most natural way to heal themselves is by getting back to nature. It’s true that the more time we take to relax and unwind in nature, the better off we’ll be.

The stoic way

One more thought, and this one is from Epictetus, Enchiridion ch. 4. A Stoic who reminds us to bathe in accordance with nature, since we are all part of the natural world.

“Remind yourself what the nature of that activity is. . . . [S]traightaway say to yourself “I want to bathe and at the same time maintain my faculty of choice in accordance with nature”. . .  For in this way, if anything that hinders you from bathing happens to arise, you will have ready at hand the saying “Well, this was not the only thing I wanted, but also to keep my faculty of choice in accordance with nature; and I won’t keep it [in that way] if I get upset over the things that occur.”

In order to heal properly, we should spend more time in nature because, if we choose to, it is one of the fastest ways.

I encourage you to spend time in nature, whether it’s in the woods or by the seashore!

 

Share, How do you heal yourself in nature?

Cheers,

Jay

3 Stoic Disciplines

 

1. PERCEPTION

Good or bad can only be perceived by oneself, based on what we can or cannot control in our minds and behaviors.

Epictetus famously said, “It’s not things that upset us but our judgments about things.”

As well as the event itself, there is also the mental repeated story we tell ourselves about what it means and how to cope with others’ behaviors.

 

2. WILL

Endure and bear what we can and must.

Marcus Aurelius said: “A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it.”

Treat each and every moment – no matter how challenging – as something to be embraced, and grown, not avoided. To not only be okay with it, but love it and become better for it. In this way, obstacles and adversity become fuel for your potential, like oxygen for a fire.

 

3. ACTION

Zeno said that well-being was realized in small steps.

Seneca said that Stoicism was about acquiring one thing every day, and that’s it.

Marcus Aurelius said it was building your character action by action, every day.

It’s not glamorous, but with time and energy, we can make progress if we decide to be disciplined by stoic tools.


Cheers,
Jay

 

Want more Stoic inspiration? Follow us:

https://www.jaypacheco.com/articles/stoicism/