Believers in Stoicism, a philosophy that developed in ancient Athens, believed that by living a virtuous life, people could achieve happiness. Adherents of this doctrine believed that virtue is sufficient and necessary to achieve happiness and that other worldly pursuits, including the pursuit of fame, achievement, or wealth, can not bring about the happiness that is conferred on us by practicing reason and virtue. Stoics also believed that we should live in harmony with nature and accept the idea that what we experience is the product of a larger cosmos over which we have no control. Our attempts to control what we can't actually control will only result in anger and disappointment.
Stoicism is a relevant doctrine for today's world in many ways. While pursuing fame or fortune can bring some good, this pursuit in and of itself, even if successful, clearly does not confer happiness on people. The news is filled with wealthy and successful people who are deeply troubled. Instead, leading a virtuous life can make us satisfied with our own actions and help us understand what we can control. We often cannot control whether we achieve fame or fortune, and we clearly cannot control the wider reality in which we live. Stoics believed in practicing self-control to protect oneself from destructive emotions. If we accept what we can control (our own mental state and judgments) while accepting what we cannot control (external realities), we may be happier about our lives.