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What can Architects learn from the Stoics?

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As architects working in the technology space we have a tendency to look forward at the ever changing world of tech. However the ancients spent much time thinking about the nature of reality and our position in the world. In this talk we’ll explore this relationship and what we can learn about the practice of architecture.

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What can Architects learn from the Stoics?

  1. 1. What can Architects learn from the Stoics? An Association for All IT Architects
  2. 2. dealing with reality
  3. 3. What the hell is going on? Why are we here? BUT FIRST
  4. 4. ME
  5. 5. HOW DID WE GET HERE?
  6. 6. THE BIG ADVENTURE STARTED IN 2014
  7. 7. 12 MONTHS HOT & CONFUSED IN THE DESERT
  8. 8. 2015 GOODBYE DUBAI
  9. 9. I WAITED & WAITED BUT THE PHONE DIDN’T RING
  10. 10. & THEN THE MONEY DIDN’T APPEAR
  11. 11. I HAD BEEN ABANDONED IN THE DESERT
  12. 12. THERE WERE DARK DAYS
  13. 13. I KNEW I NEEDED SOME NEW KNOWLEDGE
  14. 14. I READ BOOKS
  15. 15. I TALKEDbut not enough
  16. 16. I SAT
  17. 17. AND THEN I STUMBLED OVER THE STOICS MARCUS AURELIUS EPICTETUS SENECA ZENO
  18. 18. THE HIGHLIGHTS….4 VIRTUES
  19. 19. WISDOM Practical wisdom to navigate complex situations in a logical & calm manner
  20. 20. “Only people who cultivate self control in themselves can bring positive change in others” Marcus Aurelius
  21. 21. TEMPERANCE Exercise self-restraint & moderation in all aspects of life
  22. 22. “If you don’t wish to be a hot-head, don’t feed your habit. Try as a first step to remain calm and count the days you haven’t been angry. I used to be angry every day, now every other day, then every third or fourth … if you make it as far as 30 days, thank God! For habit is first weakened and then obliterated. When you can say ‘I didn’t lose my temper today, or the next day, or for three or four months, but kept my cool under provocation,’ you will know you are in better health.” Epictetus
  23. 23. JUSTICE Treating others with fairness even when they have done wrong
  24. 24. “As Plato said, every soul is deprived of truth against its will. The same holds true for justice, self- control, goodwill to others, and every similar virtue. It’s essential to constantly keep this in your mind, for it will make you more gentle to all.” Marcus Aurelius
  25. 25. COURAGE Facing daily challenges with courage
  26. 26. “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage” “Limiting one’s desires actually helps to cure one of fear . ‘ Cease to hope , ’ he says , ‘ and you will cease to fear .” Seneca
  27. 27. ATARAXIA We end up with tranquillity of mind
  28. 28. 3 KEY DISCIPLINES
  29. 29. DISIPLINES The Discipline of Perception ▪how we see and perceive the world around us The Discipline of Action ▪the decisions and actions we take—and to what end The Discipline of Will ▪how we deal with the things we cannot change, attain clear and convincing judgment, and come to a true understanding of our place in the world
  30. 30. KEY LEARNINGS
  31. 31. DEALING WITH REALITY Take the world as it is not as you want it to be
  32. 32. “We suffer not from the events in our lives but from our judgement of them” HARNESS OBJECTIVITY THROUGH ANOTHER PAIR OF EYES Marcus Aurelius
  33. 33. “When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I will deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly” Marcus Aurelius
  34. 34. REASONED CHOICE All we have is our reasoned choice
  35. 35. “For there are two rules to keep at the ready—that there is nothing good or bad outside my own reasoned choice, and that we shouldn’t try to lead events but to follow them.” Epictetus
  36. 36. “The proper work of the mind is the exercise of choice, refusal, yearning, repulsion, preparation, purpose, and assent. What then can pollute and clog the mind’s proper functioning? Nothing but its own corrupt decisions.” Epictetus
  37. 37. FAILURE Failure is natural regret is foolish
  38. 38. “If you are defeated once and tell yourself you will overcome, but carry on as before, know in the end you’ll be so ill and weakened that eventually you won’t even notice your mistake and will begin to rationalize your behaviour.” HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY!!! Epictetus
  39. 39. “We don’t abandon our pursuits because we despair of ever perfecting them.” PERFECTION IS THE ENEMY OF ACTION!!! Epictetus
  40. 40. FIGHT THE LOOP Fight your autonomous & efficient brain
  41. 41. KNOWLEDGE Know that you Know nothing
  42. 42. “Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions, not outside.” Marcus Aurelius
  43. 43. MASTERY & PATIENCE Take the time to master your craft Keep learning & developing your skills
  44. 44. “A plant that is frequently moved, never grows strong.” Seneca
  45. 45. CONTROL We can…. We can’t….
  46. 46. “The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own …” Epictetus
  47. 47. STORIES Don’t get involved in your own narratives, we tell ourselves stories that we choose to believe we give them energy and make them come true
  48. 48. “Listen and connect with people, don’t perform for them.” DON’T INDULGE IN NARRATIVE FALLACY UNKNOWN
  49. 49. OBSTACLES The obstacle is the way
  50. 50. “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way” Marcus Aurelius
  51. 51. TIME TIME IS A PERISHABLE RESOURCE
  52. 52. “How many have laid waste to your life when you weren’t aware of what you were losing, how much was wasted in pointless grief, foolish joy, greedy desire, and social amusements—how little of your own was left to you. You will realize you are dying before your time!” Seneca
  53. 53. VIA NEGATIVA It’s not what you add it’s what you take away
  54. 54. “All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.” Seneca
  55. 55. PEOPLE It never hurts to be nice, to forgive and to have patience
  56. 56. “As Plato said, every soul is deprived of truth against its will. The same holds true for justice, self- control, goodwill to others, and every similar virtue. It’s essential to constantly keep this in your mind, for it will make you more gentle to all.” Marcus Aurelius
  57. 57. KEY TAKEAWAYS
  58. 58. KEY TAKEAWAYS ▪See the world as it is ▪Know that you don’t know ▪Remember all you have is your reasoned choice ▪Understand what’s in your control and what’s not ▪Get comfortable with uncertainty ▪Stop chasing the new new thing ▪Remember the obstacle is the way ▪Be prepared not surprised ▪All you have is your reasoned choice
  59. 59. “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Victor Frankl
  60. 60. ATARAXIA If we’re lucky we end up here
  61. 61. gar@businessmodeladventures.com gar.maccriosta@iasaoffice.org @aspiringarc http://ie.linkedin.com/in/garmaccriosta www.businessmodeladventures.com Hello, my name is Gar and I help with
  62. 62. SAPER VEDERE – LEARN HOW TO SEE

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