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    Seneca was not just a famous Roman philosopher, he was also a playwright whose works were so beloved that a line of graffiti from his play, Agamemnon remains preserved in ash on a two-thousand-year-old wall in Pompeii. His works are what Ryan would call “perennial sellers” still in print two millennia after the man first penned them, still helping […]

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    “You put a hard question on the virtue of discipline. What you say is true: I do value it — and I think that you do too — more than for its earthly fruit, proficiency. I think that one can give only a metaphysical ground for this evaluation; but the variety of metaphysics which gave […]

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    There’s an army saying: “You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.” This might seem unpleasant and by definition authoritarian, but it is, in its own way, rather freeing. It takes our opinion out of the equation. We don’t have to like being calm when everyone else is freaking out. We […]

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    The great American poet Walt Whitman would write a letter to a friend describing Epictetus as one of his “old cronies.” It was Epictetus, he would say, who set Whitman free, who flooded his life with light. Indeed, Walt Whitman was not just a great writer and reader, but a man who unlike many artists also did […]

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    Epictetus once told his students: “He was sent to prison. But the observation ‘he has suffered evil,’ is an addition coming from you.” Think about how often we do this: A client parts ways with us and we say we’ve “lost” them. Someone says something to us and we describe it as “being attacked.” We are […]

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    In the entertainment business, it’s common to hear the announcements for big new projects by colleagues and competitors. It’s true in sports and in Silicon Valley and many other industries too: So and so just raised _______. So and so just sold their next book for ______. So and so just negotiated a package worth […]

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    Today is the 4th of July. It’s the celebration of the victory of American independence. In the history of Stoicism, that was no small day either. Because Stoicism was so much a part of the lives of the American Founding Fathers. In fact, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the United States […]

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    Marcus Aurelius wrote that “people are our proper occupation. Our job is to do them good and put up with them.” Of course, our fellow citizens don’t always make that so easy. Sometimes, they make it really, really hard. As Marcus writes in the passage that would inspire the phrase “the obstacle is the way,” other people […]

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    David “DHH” Heinemeier Hansson is a millionaire several times over. Does that kind of success not come with its own problems? Of course it does. The Stoics almost seem to talk more about the problems of luxury and abundance more than they talk about the hard times of poverty or exile. Which is why David says that […]

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