4 Superheroes That Embody Stoicism

Life’s unpredictability isn’t something we can plan for. It takes us by surprise. It blindsides us. It throws up everything we thought we understood about ourselves and smashes it to pieces, and it’s often in those moments where we come to see our true measure and develop the ability to endure. 

Endurance is at the heart of Stoicism, the philosophy popularised by men like Zeno and Seneca, a philosophy with many practical applications in the modern day, a concept channeled through superheroes who’ve inspired generations of comic fans and readers.

With that said, here are four superheroes that embody the Stoic principles of justice, courage, wisdom and temperance.

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How To Think Like A Roman Emperor Review: Showcasing The Power Of Stoicism In A Modern Context

The philosophy of Stoicism has changed the lives of many people, from ancient practitioners like Epictetus, to modern day Stoics like Ryan Holiday, who have shared it with new generations. 

Another modern Stoic who’s made a name for himself is psychotherapist Donald Robertson and one of his most well-known books is How To Think Like A Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy Of Marcus Aurelius.  

In the book, Robertson dives deep into the practices that Marcus Aurelius embodied in his everyday life and brings it into a modern context. The end result is a book that will surely continue to inspire readers for decades to come.

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Ego Is The Enemy Review: A Book For Challenging Expectations And Shifting Mindsets

“Here we are at the top of a mountain we worked hard to climb – or at least the summit is in sight. Now we face new temptations and problems. We breathe thinner air in an unforgiving environment. Why is success so ephemeral? Ego shortens it. 

Whether a collapse is dramatic or a slow erosion, it’s always possible and often unnecessary. We stop learning, we stop listening, and we lose our grasp on what matters. We become victims of ourselves and the competition. Sobriety, open-mindedness, organisation, and purpose – these are the great stabilisers. They balance out the ego and pride that comes with achievement and recognition.” 

This is one such passage from Ryan Holiday’s Ego Is The Enemy, a book that details all the pitfalls and dangers of believing in our own bullshit and thinking we have everything figured out. Packed full of real-world examples of people who fought against their ego and who let it consume them, Ego Is The Enemy is a fantastic book to read.

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Why The Aurelius Foundation Is On A Mission To Inspire A New Generation Of Stoics

When it comes to philosophy, Stoicism has some of the most interesting lessons to teach in terms of how to live life to the fullest. Founded on the four principles of justice, courage, wisdom and temperance, there’s a thriving worldwide community of Stoics who’re doing their best to live up to the ideals set out by people like Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus.

One such organisation that’s championing Stoicism in the modern day is the Aurelius Foundation. Based in London, The Aurelius Foundation is helping to inspire a new generation of Stoics and their story is worth hearing.

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Being Better: Stoicism For A World Worth Living In Review: A Moving, Inspirational Read

Stoicism has touched the lives of many, and it continues to be shared across the world through podcasts, videos, comics and literature. The philosophy has been transformative in the lives of Kai Whiting and Leonidas Konstantakos, the authors of Being Better: Stoicism For A World Worth Living In. 

Through examining the lives and examples of people like Marcus Aurelius, Zeno and Sphaerus, Whiting and Konstantakos provide insight into how Stoicism can be interpreted today and why it’s more relevant than ever before.

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Meditations: The Annotated Edition Review: The Definitive Book On The Inner Workings Of Marcus Aurelius

Few Ancient Roman texts have survived as well as The Meditations by the emperor Marcus Aurelius, who jotted down personal notes to himself throughout his life. The Meditations is unique because Marcus never intended to publish his thoughts, yet they have survived for 2000 years and continue to resonate with people in the modern day.

There have been many translations of the book and the most recent is from British translator Robin Waterfield. Meditations: The Annotated Edition is without a doubt the definitive book on understanding the inner workings of Marcus Aurelius because it features detailed notes on what Marcus was thinking when he wrote certain passages and delves deep into the philosophy of Stoicism.

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