Daily Journey – August 23rd: It’s in Your Self-Interest

The Stoics practice was to appeal to a person’s self interest directly instead of using abstract concepts like right and wrong to influence changes in behavior. Doing this changes the discussion from an emotional appeal to an appeal to logic/reason. For example:

X,Y and Z are sins, you should stop doing them (emotional appeal).

vs.

Drinking too much is making you unhappy because now you have a hangover.

Not exercising is making you unhappy because you don’t have the strength to take care of your family.

Eating an unhealthy diet is making you unhappy because you are 15 pounds overweight.

Complaining all day is making you miserable because you are focusing too much on the negative and missing the positives

This is a more compelling form of an argument because it directly addresses a person’s own self-interest (which most people are deeply concerned with) with logical consequences
instead of using abstract thinking to come at a problem from the side.

Give it a try.

See if it changes your perspective on the things you want to improve in your life.

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Daily Journey is a collection of my thoughts from reading The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.  My objective is to gain greater control of my emotional responses by reading and sharing my thoughts on stoicism with you all everyday over the course of a next year.  If you would like to explore these topics with me, and others who are seeking to gain emotional control I these articles to the Mastery of Skill closed facebook group and would love for you to join in on the conversation.

Live Skillfully!

-Jon

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