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    Epictetus says that “if your choices are beautiful, so too will you be.” It’s simple but it’s true. You are what your choices make you, nothing more and nothing less. So make good choices today. Little ones and big ones: what you eat, how you talk to people, whether to watch TV or pick up […]

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    We’re simple creatures. Give us a long list of tasks—or even a string of numbers more than about 10—and we’ll forget or get mixed up. The Stoics understood this, which is why they focus on a relatively manageable amount of subjects or disciplines. Like a good coach, they’re not training their athletes in every area, […]

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    While there are many good reasons to travel the world, doing so to find peace or freedom is not one of them. It’s actually deeply unphilosophical. Peace of mind and freedom are things that come from within, so if you are running away from cognitive dissonance, you are actually running away from yourself. Unfortunately when […]

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    Something may happen today that upsets you. Someone might be rude, your car could break down, an employee might mess something up despite your very careful instructions. Your instinct may be to yell and get angry. It’s natural. But just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Remember Marcus Aurelius’ observation, “how much […]

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    Laura Ingalls Wilder had a hard scrabble existence. From the Kansas prairies to the backwoods of Florida, she and her family eked out a life from some of the most unforgiving environments on the planet. She endured—and eventually thrived—despite this, due primarily to her Stoic optimism. “There is good in everything,” she later wrote, “if […]

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    “Choose not to be harmed and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been.” – Marcus Aurelius The Stoics had an exercise called Turning the Obstacle Upside Down. What they meant to do was make it impossible to not practice the art of philosophy. Because if you can properly turn a problem […]

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      “Think your way through difficulties: harsh conditions can be softened, restricted ones can be widened, and heavy ones can weigh less on those who know how to bear them.”   “Let all your activity be directed to some object, let it have some end in view.”   “Often a very old man has no […]

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      Today you will be tempted—pressured even—to stay up on current events. To watch the news, to read a few articles, to check the stream of real-time events on Twitter. Resist this impulse.   Remember what Thoreau said: “To a philosopher, all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read […]

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    There is a wonderful quote from Epictetus that I think of every time I see someone get terribly offended or outraged about something. I try to think about it when I get upset about anything, myself. “If someone succeeds in provoking you,” he said, “realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation.” He meant […]

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