3 Secrets to Happiness from Ancient Wisdom

Ancient wisdom offers some truly great tips for staying happy. Best of all, they're still applicable today.
3 Secrets to Happiness from Ancient Wisdom

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Much of the advice that we are given today to be happy is not new. Rather, it comes from ancient wisdom.

That wisdom seems to have been consigned to ancient times. Yet that curiously we still need to bring to the current world, because we haven’t yet managed to internalize all that it tries to teach us.

In this blog, we’re going to reveal 3 secrets of ancient wisdom that are very important to put into practice every day.

After all, if the ancient sages applied them, it must have been for good reasons.

Secrets of ancient wisdom to put into practice

1. Control only that which you can control and ignore the rest

A man with birds flying out of his ear.

The first of the secrets of ancient wisdom is very important. How often do we want to control things that aren’t within our power to control?

Faced with a problem that devastates us or a worry that keeps us on edge, it’s important to ask yourself if there’s anything you can even do about it.

The stoics said: “Can I do anything about this problem? If I can, then I will take action; if not, then I will accept it.”

However, we never act so wisely. We run into the same wall time and time again, exhausting ourselves, undermining our self-esteem and becoming anxious.

You can’t always control everything, because there are things that just happen, and that’s OK. Accepting this will free you of a huge burden. That’s because sometimes you want to take on responsibility for things you can’t control.

Sometimes this is the result of a fear, of insecurities or other problems that prevent you from letting go.

Let yourself flow. It’s time to accept and not be blinded by that which you know you can’t control. The best things happen when you learn to let go.

2. Accept and stop denying

A man riding a bicycle on the water.

Acceptance is one of the hardest things in life, because this sometimes means you have to stop taking on the role of victim.

When you don’t accept an illness, a situation, or a period in your life in which things aren’t going so well, it’s not good for you.

This situation is as absurd as seeing that it’s raining and denying it or trying to fight against it. Do you gain anything? Can you change the situation? The answer is an outright “no.” As such, the only option is to accept what’s happening.

Why does this denial of reality happen? It happens because of your expectations and the idea of luck.

All of this makes you suffer and resist, which is useless. You’re not a victim. The world isn’t against you. Things just happen.

Accept what you can’t change. Doing the opposite, according to the stoics, is wasting a vast part of your energy.

3. You’re responsible for your life

Ancient wisdom tells us to live in the moment.

The third secret of ancient wisdom is very important for eliminating blame in your life. People tend to blame their parents for how they raised them. But adults are in control of their own lives.

As Seneca said: “We say that it was not in our power to choose our parents, that they were given to us by chance. But we can choose what kind of children we would like to be“.

Looking back and regretting all that happened will not help you. It’s a way of making excuses for your passivity towards the difficulties that are affecting you in the current moment.

However, we’re adults now. We have the power to switch onto a different path from that of our parents. Now, we are the ones responsible for our own lives, no one else.

So what are you waiting for?

Today is the day to start letting go of control over that which you can’t do anything about, to accept situations as they are, and to start taking the helm of your own life.

Falling into obsession, denial, and blame will only bring unhappiness.

Images: Christian Schloe

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Boeri, M. D., y  Salles, R. “Los filósofos estoicos.” Ontología, Lógica, Física y Ética. Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Universidad Alberto Hurtado (2014).
  • Guevara, A. “Libro aureo de Marco Aurelio.” Zaragoza1529 (1994).
  • Seneca, L. De la brevedad de la vida. La Editorial, UPR, 2000.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.