Looking for a Personal Philosophy? Try Stoicism!


Adjuncts have often endured challenges and also experienced rewards in their path to success. How they bounce back and thrive often depends on their personal philosophy. If you are still searching for a personal philosophy to help create a theme or guiding principle in your life, look to Stocism.

I know, I can almost hear you say, “Stocisim? What is that?! Sound boring, and I am NOT boring!” Well, I want you to consider stoicism because it is considered a philosophy for those of us who consider ourselves pragmatic. Think:

Stoicism = Pragmatism

Being adjuncts requires us to be strategic in our thinking, purposeful in our actions, and pragmatic in dealing with consequences. Boring isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when it helps you create a solid foundation from which to showcase your creativity and professional acumen.

As an avid reader, I went out to my local library and picked up some books to get me started:

  • The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca
  • Marcus Aurelius: Meditations
  • The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius

OK, I know not everyone has time to read philosophy books, so let me give you the abridged version from what I've read so far: the philosophy asks us to learn from our struggles, develop a “big picture thinking” approach, and remember our mortality. These core ideals allow us to develop a plan AND enjoy our lives. As we work in our chosen professions, we can get caught up in the day-to-day grind and sometimes lose sight of what is most important.

Through struggles and accomplishments, adjuncts realize that they are meant to contribute to the human story with their unique talents and abilities. Besides, it's kind of empowering to be able to say at a faculty luncheon: "Well, my personal philosophy is stoicism...," wait for the inquisitive looks, then say: "...and let me tell you what that means to me."