Stoic: Scaping Gossip To Self-Growth

Through  Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) and Stoicism, gossip can be turned into self-growth. For example, when you find yourself in a gossip situation, rather than engaging in gossip, you could ask yourself what you can learn about the situation and use it as an opportunity to grow.

“The greatest revenge is massive success.” – Les Brown

During the past three weeks, I let my guard down at the workplace where gossip flowed like a river. And, it took me a few days to reflect by reading some Sumerian tablets and history books as well as Epictetus. As a result, I decided to write this short blog.

It took me a couple of days of reflection to put together this short story. It is about how I unexpectedly found myself in the role of a common worker. Probably some of you feel that gossip stresses you out and you might have felt the same way I did.

I have worked in environments that provide the opportunity for growth, but for the most part, I have worked in environments where gossip flows like a river, with whispers and rumors echoing through every hallway, the gym, the store, and the list seems to go on and on. Although I have faced a challenging environment at my workplace, I have embraced a journey to transform my mindset. This is despite the challenges anyone can face, it has also made me realize that one can turn gossip into self-growth.

Throughout 2019, I have been able to rise above the sea of negativity that has surrounded me. However, at other times it is easier for me to find negativity, even in my own mind. This is when surrounded by gossipers and when I leave my guard down. However, this I reversed by re-reading a few books about personal development such as Napoleon Hill, and stoic texts such as EpictetusMarcus Aurelius, and Seneca, among others.

The following are 10 tips to look out for when dealing with gossipers, 10 tips that will help you grow as a person using PMA and Stoicism, and 10 tips that will help you mingle with successful people and not feel stressed or depressed when doing so.

“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.” – James Matthew Barrie

A Gossipy Haven: 10 Common Observations

So, if what you like is gossiping, you’re probably going to be pretty happy.

There is nothing worse than working amid a gossip whirlwind – which is everywhere and contagious – causing mental worries and ruining relationships inside and outside the workplace as well as making one a gossiper if not watching up for one’s own habits. Furthermore, aside from loneliness, gossip can also lead to dissatisfaction and discontent. The effects of gossip should be aware of by anyone who is involved in it. The act of gossip, for instance, can lead to the breakdown of trust between colleagues, and this, in turn, can lead to a decrease in productivity and morale in the workplace.

1. Whispers: Everywhere. The cubicle, the water cooler, the washroom. They’re inescapable. For example, an employee may start a rumor about a colleague’s behavior, and this rumor can spread quickly, damaging the reputation of the employee and creating a toxic work environment.

2. Cliques: Groups that form like high school lunch tables, each with its own gossip genre. For example, a group of employees may form to gossip about a colleague’s performance, and this can lead to feelings of exclusion and bullying.

3. Rapid Rumors: How John from HR knew about Linda’s date last night is a mystery. For example, if an employee discloses confidential information to a colleague, the colleague may use that information to spread rumors about the employee without their knowledge.

4. Jumping to Conclusions: Half-baked tales that lead to unwarranted judgments. For example, if an employee is late to work, colleagues may assume that they are lazy, without considering other reasons for their lateness.

5. The Weekly SoapOpera: Stories that get recycled and sensationalized week after week. For example, a story about a manager’s relationship with a subordinate may circulate for weeks, even though the story is based on speculation and hearsay.

6. Innocent Queries: “Just asking…” but they’re often digging for more information. For instance, a boss might ask an employee about a rumor they heard, even though they have no evidence or proof to back it up.

7. Selective Storytelling: Bits of stories told, others omitted. For example, an employee might tell a story about a colleague’s success but not mention that the employee had to put in extra work or put in more hours than others.

8. Validation Seekers: Those who seek validation by sharing ‘exclusive’ stories. For example, an employee might tell a story about how their boss treated them better than their peers, without providing any evidence to support the claim.

9. Unexpected Allies: Bonds formed not of mutual values, but shared gossip subjects. For example, two employees who have never met before might bond over their dislike of a colleague, without sharing common values.

10. Stunted Growth: The absence of personal and professional growth. Days are filled with tales, not tasks. For instance, two team members might spend hours discussing the latest gossip, instead of discussing ways to improve their work or the company.

The average person spends 52 minutes a day gossiping... – Psychology

10 Things I Experienced While Cultivating a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) and Practicing Stoicism Amidst Gossip: 

“One who gossips usually carries boredom in one hand and bitterness in the other.” – Suzy Kassem

1. I tuned out the gossip: Amidst the chatter, I honed my ability to focus on my work and drown out workplace gossip. For example, when a negative comment was whispered about a colleague, I politely smiled and continued my work, rather than engaging in the conversation.

2. I cultivate resilienceStoicism became my guiding philosophy, helping me navigate workplace drama without affecting my inner peace. For example, when a colleague was spreading rumors about me, I took it as an opportunity to practice self-compassion and remind myself that I could only control my own actions.

3. I practice empathy: I learned to understand that gossipers often do so out of insecurity or boredom, which helped me respond with compassion. For example, I was able to recognize that the gossiper had likely been feeling jealous of my accomplishments and was trying to make me feel bad.

4. I embrace self-improvement: During lunch breaks, I invested time reading self-help books and listening to motivational podcasts, gradually developing a positive mental attitude. For example, I focused on the positive aspects of any situation and practiced gratitude, which enabled me to have a more optimistic outlook on life.

5. I became a beacon of positivity: My upbeat outlook influenced those around me, as I shared words of encouragement and kindness. For example, I actively listened to people when they needed to talk and gave them advice to help them work through their problems.

6. I learned to choose my battles: Stoicism taught me to pick my battles wisely, focusing my energy on meaningful pursuits rather than futile arguments. For example, instead of getting angry when I disagree with someone, I try to listen to their point of view and respond in a way that is respectful and open.

7. I find solace in nature: During small breaks, I’d take short walks up and down the staircase or step out just right out of the building, reconnecting with the outdoors and nature. For instance, I often appreciate the beauty of the sky and the sun or the sound of birds chirping.

8. I practice gratitude: Each day, I either write down three things I am grateful for or recite in my mind three to five things I’m thankful for, which helps shift my focus away from negativity. For example, I am grateful for my health, mind, family, and job.

9. I became a source of advice: Colleagues sought my counsel, as my positive mindset and stoic approach became evident in my actions. For instance, I was able to help a coworker who was feeling overwhelmed with work and provide them with advice on how to prioritize and manage their workload.

10. I set ambitious goals: Through PMA and Stoicism, I crafted a vision for my future, determined to rise above workplace chatter and inspire others to do the same. As an example, I have set a goal to build PMA Science University from the ground up by combining Stoicism, PMA, and Psychology as well as writing self-development books and poems that would promote personal development.

10 Things I Discovered While Mingling with Achievers:

“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” – Stephanie Perkins

1. A culture of growth: Among achievers, I found a culture of continuous learning and personal development. For instance, they would often read books, attend seminars, and take courses to stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies.

2. Shared knowledge: Conversations revolve around insightful articles, books, and innovative ideas, fostering intellectual stimulation.  For instance, I was once invited to get together with people who run businesses and are actively involved in the community as part of a social gathering. I stayed for an additional hour due to the topics we discussed were so interesting and we had engaging conversations.

3. Entrepreneurial spirit: I haven’t been surrounded by entrepreneurial minds, though by reading books and building my own business, and at times I get to engage with others who run their own businesses and those spark my business aspirations. For example, I recently connected and chatted with a successful entrepreneur who owns her own business and was able to gain valuable insights into how she got started and what challenges she faced in her journey to success.

4. Creativity Blossoms: The walls of the person who introduced me to acrylic painting were adorned with paintings, a testimony to her dedication to artistic pursuits while working hard at her common job. For instance, she painted a series of abstract landscapes that were vibrant and colorful, expressing her emotions through her art.

5. Inspiring conversations: From time to time, I meet enthusiastic people whose ideas flow freely, the discussions are rich, and the energy is contagious. For example, I recently met a software engineer who shared his idea of creating a platform to connect professionals to job opportunities, and I was able to draw from my past experiences to provide helpful advice.

6. Networking opportunities: Through these connections, I discovered opportunities for collaboration and growth. For instance, I was able to connect with a serial entrepreneur who gave me valuable insight into the startup community.

7. Mentorship: Achievers often share their wisdom and guide others on their success path. I haven’t met in person the mentors I’d like to mingle with, though I read lots of books by great minds. For example, I recently read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, which has inspired me to become a better leader and mentor to others.

8. A sense of purpose: Everyone seems driven by a deep sense of purpose and passion. For example, Bill Gates founded Microsoft with the mission to empower everyone on the planet, while Elon Musk founded Tesla with the mission to save the planet with sustainable energy.

9. Constructive feedback: I gained valuable feedback on my projects, refining my skills. For example, I received critiques on my presentations on how to improve my marketing skills. In addition, I received feedback that I should write more blogs and books to motivate teenagers on the topics of self-development, stoicism, and psychology.

10. A vision realized: Surrounded by these achievers, my own vision crystallized, fueled by their success stories. For instance, I gained an understanding of how to take my ideas and turn them into tangible products, as well as the importance of networking with the right people.

In the end, my journey from gossip to achievers has been transformational. I’ve evolved from a common worker burdened by negativity to a beacon of positivity and purpose. Armed with a positive mental attitude and stoicism, I’ve risen above the chatter and honed my focus on growth.

Mingling with those who relentlessly pursue their dreams has ignited my own passions and aspirations. I’ve learned that failures are not roadblocks but stepping stones toward success. Today, I’m not just chasing my vision; I’m combining every setback into a catalyst for growth.

As I continue on this path, I strive to achieve my dreams but also inspire others to do the same. With PMA, stoicism, and the company of achievers as my allies, I’m determined to leave a legacy of resilience, innovation, and unwavering belief in the power of positive transformation.

My hope is that this short article will be helpful to you in finding ways and ideas regarding how to turn your own obstacles into stepping stones in the direction of your mental growth.

The best way for you to share your wisdom with others is to share your stories here so that other people can learn from your experiences.

“Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Cheers,

Jay Pacheco

Epictetus and the Art of Stoic Positivity

The Art of Stoic Positivity!

While taking a run in Marumsskogen (woods) in Sandefjord, Norway this afternoon, I finally put together a short blog about Epictetus.

Epictetus is my favorite stoic philosopher and I wanted to share my thoughts on his teachings. Furthermore, I chose to play with my thoughts for the blog while running. This would help me organize my thoughts and ideas so I could come up with creative solutions to finalize the blog writing. For instance, while running this afternoon, I thought about how Epictetus said we should focus on things within our control. Then I took courage and approached in another way to finish my long lasting short blog about Epictetus.

My blog beging as “Imagine a lush green meadow…”, though I’ve been working with ideas, re-reading books about Epictetus since March of 2023 and haven’t landed on anything until today while running – and for that I’m grateful for, and now I’m sharing this post with you!

“Imagine a lush green meadow, dawn sunlight streaming through grass blades. You are at peace, a still observer, unaffected by passing wind gusts. This state of calm tranquility, the meadow’s unflappable tranquility amidst nature’s fickle whims, is a vivid representation of Stoicism. It also exemplifies Epictetus’ teachings, a philosopher who spent the last of his life pursuing mental fortitude and self equilibrium.

Epictetus a Greek philosopher of the first century AD, was one of the most prominent Stoics. Wisdom, the highest form of virtue, is based on knowledge, according to this ancient philosophy. The main tenet of Epictetus’ philosophy can be summed up in his powerful words, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

– How one reacts to circumstances is the core of stoicism, positive mental attitude (PMA), and positive psychology! And all begins in the mind by knowing how to manage emotions …! Stoicism could be said to be the grandfather of PMA and modern psychology when it comes to regulating emotions just to name it in brief.

Imagine, for instance, that you’ve planned a picnic with your family, but the skies open up and it starts raining. Or during [this] summer of 2023 you are planning a trip to the beach and suddenly it gets dark and it starts to rain. You could feel disgruntled, let the circumstances dampen your mood, or choose to see the positive side. Maybe the rain is a chance to stay in and enjoy a cozy day indoors, complete with board games, hot chocolate, or even just watching a movie. Epictetus suggests that the second reaction, embracing what you cannot control, is the key to maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA).

Stoicism and PMA don’t just influence our mental space; they also influence our physical realm. Imagine the sense of calm and clarity you experience after a refreshing morning jog or a quiet yoga session. When your mind isn’t tangled in worry or anxiety, your body reflects ease and tranquility. This is how I felt while running through the woods, even being tired, pain on my legs and windy with drizzling rain. I felt a sense of calm and I even got more ideas for writing this blog!

An individual in tune with the Stoic mindset would see a challenging workout not as a hardship, but as an opportunity to improve and become healthier. This is a stoic way of taking a chance to push the boundaries. Even the panting breaths and muscle strains become a testament to their strength and resilience, an affirmation of their positive attitude. For instance, instead of dreading the last few reps of an exercise, take it as a challenge and an opportunity to test your own limits and grow.

Our inner dialogue influences our soul harmony as well. If we nurture our minds with Stoic wisdom, our souls will resonate with peace. Consider a serene lake, its surface smooth and unbroken. That tranquility is our soul at peace, untroubled by external circumstances, radiating positivity. The more we practice Stoic principles, the more serene our inner lake becomes.

Epictetus’s wisdom, intertwined with Stoicism and PMA principles, is timeless. It is a philosophy for every day and the future, a guidepost for individuals navigating life’s tumultuous seas. By adopting Epictetus’ teachings, we can attain a state of unshakeable calm, a Positive Mental Attitude, and most importantly, a harmony of mind, body, and soul.

Just like that meadow embracing the morning sunlight and weathering the wind, we too can shine brightly and stand tall amidst life’s challenges. It’s not the circumstances but our response to them that shapes our reality. With the shield of Stoicism and the sword of PMA, we can create our own serenity symphony. As we tap into our inner strength, we can confidently stand in our power and take on any challenge. We can create our own destiny and live a life of joy and purpose.

Final thoughts, tranquility is what I felt while running…

Stoicism provides us with tools to understand and respond to our emotions and thoughts. Combined with PMA, or Positive Mental Attitude, we can create a resilient, confident, and optimistic mindset. As a result, we become proactive in creating our own destiny by taking on challenges with courage and finding joy and purpose.

What methods do you use to find and feel tranquility in your mind, emotions and soul?

Cheers,
Jay Pacheco