Rise And Shine

  “On those mornings you struggle with getting up, keep this thought in mind—I am awakening to the work of a human being. Why then am I annoyed that I am going to do what I’m made for, the very things for which I was put into this world? Or was I made for this, … Continued

The Less You Want, The More You Have

There is a line in Seneca’s famous play, Thyestes. “It is a vast kingdom,” Thyestes says, “to be able to come without a kingdom.” It reminds me of a line in Steven Pressfield’s novel on Alexander the Great, Virtues of War, where the an old philosopher accosts the great conqueror. This man has conquered the world, … Continued

If Everything Is Ephemeral, Then What Matters?

If everything is ephemeral, as the Stoics insist, then what does matter? The answer is simple: Right now matters. Being a good person and doing the right thing right now, that’s what matters and that’s what was important to the Stoics. Take Alexander the Great who conquered the known world and had cities named in … Continued

Remember — It’s All Ephemeral

“Alexander the Great and his mule driver both died and the same thing happened to both.” – Marcus Aurelius Marcus Aurelius wrote to himself a simple and effective reminder to help him regain perspective and stay balanced: “Run down the list of those who felt intense anger at something: the most famous, the most unfortunate, … Continued

Today’s Stoic Practice: Practice Misfortune

Stoicism differs from most existing schools in one important sense: its purpose is practical application. It is not a purely intellectual enterprise. It’s a tool we can use immediately to become better in our craft, better friends and better people. Today, let’s explore practicing misfortune: “It is in times of security that the spirit should … Continued

Good Inspiration Stands Eternal

On my desk I have a small bust of Marcus Aurelius, made in 1820 out of carrara marble. As I sit and work, it occasionally catches my eye. When it does, I stop and think about how humbling it is that someone had this made nearly 200 years ago. That is both an eternity and … Continued

Stoicism at TED — Defining and Overcoming Your Fears

NOTE: The TED talk is now up! Watch it below:  [ted id=2799] On Monday night, at the opening event of TED, Tim Ferriss, bestselling author, entrepreneur and podcast host, introduced the practical philosophy of Stoicism to an audience of scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, politicians and some of the most influential people in our society. The main … Continued

Don’t Sell Yourself Cheaply

In his Discourses, Epictetus asks a probing question: “Your respect, trustworthiness and steadiness, peace of mind, freedom from pain and fear, in a word your freedom. For what would you sell these things?” The answer, too often, is “for pennies on the dollar.” We trade our word for a small edge in business. We give … Continued

Before You Freak Out, Ask Yourself These Questions

Does getting upset provide you with more options? When you worry, what are you choosing not to see? Are you worrying about what will happen later instead of doing the right thing, right now? Does what happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, and straightforwardness? What if we regarded … Continued