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    “And how trivial the things we want so passionately are.” – Marcus Aurelius There’s an old joke: When the Gods wish to punish us, they give us exactly what we’ve always wanted. Ask yourself what you’re after: Fame? Wealth? The perfect man or woman? Now imagine yourself when you get it. What comes next? The […]

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    Seneca, in his letters to Lucilius, urges him to choose a role model to provide a standard to live by. This is of course idea that is not unique to Stoicism by any means but Seneca succinctly puts why it is a necessary step in our pursuit of the good life. The person of our […]

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    In one of the more iconic graduation speeches in history, Steve Jobs reflected not on the massive successes of his company, or of the power of technology, or even the importance of a broad liberal arts education. No, his prime purpose in the speech was to meditate on death. Steve Jobs wasn’t a Stoic (he […]

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    Stoicism is about preparation and practice. You don’t become a stoic overnight, and you can’t treat it as a binary condition. It is designed to steel you against the uncertainty of the future, because through training and time and discipline, you can become unshakable and imperturbable. That’s what you’re doing when you read stoic texts […]

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    Firefighters train night and day to enter burning buildings. Police officers shoot hundreds of rounds at firing ranges to make sure they are ready when crisis happens. Special operators around the country train for hostage rescue situations, playing out over and over again the remotest possibility of an adversary capturing one of our own. You […]

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    “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” – Epictetus The Stoics believed that possessions were fleeting; that our opinion about a thing, and not the thing itself, mattered. All available research on individual happiness says the same: It’s not the things you have that make you happy; it’s the experiences. […]

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    Ask yourself: When was the last time everything went exactly, precisely according to plan? Answer: Never. Whether for better or worse, something you worked on didn’t turn out exactly as you’d want it to. It doesn’t matter how much you steered it to a certain direction. The truth is that you couldn’t have called either […]

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    The best leaders rarely talk how things ought to be done, their actions speak for themselves. Think of someone you admired and how many of the lessons came indirectly from the choices that they’ve made and the example they have set. Similarly, we need to be focused on how we are actually living and what […]

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    There is an intriguing line from Epictetus that seems almost Christian: “If you wish to be good, first believe that you are bad.” What does it mean? It’s not unlike the first step in recovery from addiction—we’ve got to admit and accept we have a problem. Only then will we have the humility and unflinching […]

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