As somebody who is interested in Stoic philosophy and who tries his best to practice the Stoic way of life, I have found the insights and teaching of Lao-Tzu, the founder of the philosophy of Daoism as inseparable from the Stoic teachings. Two intertwining philosophical views that complete one another. Where Stoicism fails in its rejection of mysticism, is where Daosim completes it in its spirituality, where Daoism fails in giving clear instruction, Stoicism is firm in the rules it's followers must follow to achieve their goals. The two philosophies carry a very similar message, and stem from the same roots, although they grow in the gardens of two different cultures, in the modern age they combine well into a full spiritual and philosophical approach to life.
The opinions of others is the one thing that we have the least control over in our lives. We can only influence them through passing conversations or through rumors we spread about ourselves by our words and actions. Yet, many men today seem to be greatly disturbed by the endless struggle to try and control the opinions of other people. The one, most important, thing that the Stoic philosophy teaches us is that we should only worry about the things which are in our control, these wise words echo through the ages from the mouths of the wisest sages who walked this Earth to the ears of the modern man who is trying to find a way to be the best man he can be. This great Stoic advice, which in my opinion could be the only advice one ever needs to adopt in order to live a good life, directly goes against the notion that we as men should worry about the opinions of other. As I've said, this thing is so far out of our sphere of control that spending any time at all thinking about this issue leads to nothing but misery and burn-out.
When a man spends time with himself, he comes to know and appreciate himself more. When meeting a new acquaintance, we often undervalue them because we know so little about them, once we sit one-to-one with that person, and we get to know them a little better, their true value and virtue is revealed to us, and they might even become so dear to us that we may call them friends, thus this also happens to ourselves, the less time we spend alone with our own self and our own thoughts, the less we value ourselves, and by spending time alone we get to know ourselves better and to see and judge our own virtues and sins to our own standards, thus we become more dear to ourselves and our own inner-self becomes our friend.
Having focus is the main trait a man needs to have in order to achieve his goals, along with a good work ethic and clear purpose, a man can achieve anything he focuses on. This is a cardinal step in becoming the best men we can be and the one thing that will serve us well in many different situations.
It's the primary trait of an alpha male to take what he wants without asking, it's the only way one can get the things one desires, be it status, wealth or respect, nobody is going to give it to you if you don't take it yourself, if you don't demand it, and these 'men' would rather die hungry then fight for a piece of bread. I used to be one of them, I too was born and grew up during the time of soft men, the peaceful and comfortable time in which men don't learn the traits needed to survive in this world. But though hard work on improving myself, both mentally and physically, by working to overcome my fears and challenge my enemies, I learned to embrace conflict, and by doing so grow both as a man and as a person. The answer to the mediocrity that is killing this society is to always strive for greatness and virtue, no matter the amount of conflict you as a man need to engage in, for you were created to be the predator of attrition, the one who takes the blows and deals them back twice as hard.
Mindfulness is a useful practice to any modern man striving to become the best man he can be. The stresses of daily life can bring even the strongest of us down, that is why we must harbor this ancient art as it is the only way one can stay strong and unrelenting in the world which seeks nothing but to destroy him.