Report on Stoic Week 2012 now available – 10 things we learnt from Stoic week

We’ve now had time to look at all the questionnaires you’ve filled in and the results make some interesting reading.  You can read the full report here.

Below  is a quick summary, which answers the questions posed in an earlier post.

For those with a very short amount of time for this, a one sentence management summary of the findings is

Extremely promising, interesting results, much scope for further , more focussed research

N.B. Please read the limitations of the research section of the full report before quoting from  this post or the report. Although the findings are very promising, further research is required before more definitive conclusions can be drawn.
10 Things we know now as a result of Exeter Stoic week that we didn’t know before
1) Participating in Stoic week led to approximately a 10% increase on a number of well-validated and widely used measures of well-being.
2) Participants felt both that the one week had increased their knowledge of Stoicism considerably and also expressed a thirst for more knowledge about Stoicism
3) Some Stoic exercises are much more popular and perceived as much more useful than others
4) Stoicism (as experienced in Stoic week) appears to be much more effective at reducing distress than it does at facilitating positive emotions.
5) Stoicism (as experienced in Stoic week) appears to help with some aspects of life satisfaction more than others.
6) Stoicism (as experienced in Stoic week) appears to help with some aspects of flourishing more than others.
7) Stoicism (as experienced in Stoic week) appears to help with reducing some negative emotions more than others.

8) Many participants perceived that Stoic week had helped them roughly equally with various areas of their lives including relationships, becoming a better person and becoming wiser.
9) The detailed “Overall Experience of Stoic week” questionnaire provided us with participants’ experiences of a whole range of topics including :

a. Demographics
b. Satisfaction with Stoic week
c. Use of social media
d. How participants would like to take their own experience forward
e. Feedback on the booklet
10) Whilst there are significant Limitations in the methodology and scope the of research so far, there is reason to think that further more focused research would be worthwhile.

To find out a lot more detail, download the full report on Stoic week here.

Day 5 of Living the Stoic Life!

Post here any reflections on the Stoic life today! How is it, now five days in? 

‘Whenever, as the sun rises, you feel like you cannot be bothered to get up, have this thought ready to hand:

“I rise to do the work of a human being”

Why feel any resentment, when I am rising to do that for which I was born, for which I was brought into the world? Or was I made instead just to lie under these bedclothes, all warm and comfortable? “Well it is pleasurable to do so!” But were you born just for pleasure? Look at it this way: were you born for passivity or to be a man of action? Can you not see that even the shrubs, sparrows, ants, spiders and bees all do their bit, their part in making up the smooth functioning of the universe? So why don’t you do your bit too, and perform the role of a human being?’

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 5.1

Day 4 of Living the Stoic Life!

Use this thread to post anything related to the Stoic life today. If you are blogging on the Stoic week or doing a Youtube diary, feel free to link to those from here.

And, if you have the time, do you have any reflections on the Stoic week as a whole to date?

‘There is one type of person who, whenever he has done a good deed to another, expects and calculates to have the favour repaid. There is a second type of person who does not calculate in such a way but who, nevertheless, deep within himself regards the other person as someone who owes him something and he remembers that he has done the other a good deed.

But there is a third type of person who, in some sense, does not even remember the good deed he has done but who, instead, is like a vine producing its grape, seeking nothing more than having brought forth its own fruit, just like a horse when it has run, a dog when it has followed its scent and a bee when it has made honey. This man, having done one good deed well, does not shout it about but simply turns his attention to the next good deed, just like the vine turns once again to produce its grape in the right season.’

                                                                                           Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 5.6


 

Day 3 of Living the Stoic Life

Use this thread to post anything (questions, observations, and reflections) related to living the Stoic life today!

If needed, here are a couple of questions to get you started:

  • If you have practised one of the exercises in the morning, did it have a helpful impact on the rest of your day?
  • Has any exercise been difficult? What could make it easier?

  • If you are new to Stoicism, have you found that this week has counteracted the stereotypes of it so far?

Continue reading “Day 3 of Living the Stoic Life”