3 stoic philosopher questions you can ask like Socrates, Epictetus and Seneca to change your thinking.Read Now
It is said that "The quality of your life depends upon the quality of question you ask yourself”. We usually tend to ask wrong questions to wrong beliefs. Take them to be true and live with them for very long. Sometimes even a lifetime. So, what questions should we ask our beliefs? Even the most rational person has his own individual irrational Beliefs about the world, people and self. There are various ways in which we can question our beliefs, especially the irrational once. The Irrationality of mind seems realistic, so only one question may sometimes not filter the dirt in beliefs. It needs an RO+UF+UV purifier. One can develop the skills of a stoic philosopher like Socrates, Epictetus and Seneca by simply asking these three question.
1)IS IT LOGICAL? - we tend to fool our brain, keep on thinking different rigid ideas. If not appropriately questioned all these ideas become a rigid belief system. When you ask "is it logical?" for the belief “buses must come on bus stop when I reach” immediately the disturbance attached with this belief will evaporate. This question” is it logical?” is extremely important, but kind of deceiving too. For example, “people must treat me well”. On a superficial level statement in itself may not seem logical, but for many the logic can be “because I treat people well in turn people must treat me well” forms a strong logic. But still, this question is a foundational one when you want to target the layers of your beliefs, this one will be helpful and a prominent filter.
2) IS IT A FACT? OR UNIVERSAL TRUTH? The second question, one can ask to once belief is, "is it a fact?" this again can resolve a lot of your rigid and irrational beliefs about others and self and about the world. So if I treat people well. People must treat me back well might form a strong logic, but is not a universal truth. It's an expectation not fact like "The sun rises from the east" kind of truth. So mostly many beliefs which contribute to our negative emotions are not facts. Like Mark Twain once quoted “I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened"
3) IS IT HELPFUL? The third question is if "it's helpful?" It's very rare that a belief trespasses both initial questions. But just in case if one has fooled oneself, in extreme cases some beliefs have the potential. The third question “is it helpful?” works like a charm. consider this disturbance contributing belief "People must treat me well because I treat people well and if they don't, then obviously I can't stand it". The emotion that might get triggered here is anger. Just in case if you keep thinking that it's logical that people must treat you well because you treat people well. The third question "is it helpful?" will do the work as you're emotionally feeling irritated and angry, due to the contribution of the belief. When you ask yourself, "is it helpful?". And the answer is clearly "no". You're dealing with your irrational belief.
These questions are really helpful in handling mostly every possible emotional imbalance and finding a more rational belief.
So next time, when you're dealing with the emotional disturbance, irrational belief, start questioning them like Socrates, Epictetus and Seneca. Comment below how you deal with your irrational beliefs.
“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.” Thomas Pynchon in Gravity's Rainbow
Himali Kelvekar, Student of English literature with a minor in communication, media and Psychology at christ university, Bangalore with a on-ground work experience in content writing ,editing,designing and public relations.
Sahil Takshak A student of Delhi University. Writing is my first love. Passionate about fitness, travelling, human psychology, cooking, politics, music, movies and books.