The Stoic Art of Journaling

Epictetus the slave. Marcus Aurelius the emperor. Seneca the power broker and playwright. These three radically different men led radically different lives. But they seemed to have one habit in common: Journaling. In one form or another, each of them did it. It would be Epictetus who would admonish his students that philosophy was something they should “write down day … Continued

Get After It

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Action is what counts. Especially when it comes to improving yourself and your character. You could spend the rest of your life reading books to improve yourself—and be stuck in the same place. Why do you think that is? Why do you have friends who seem to know every … Continued

Seriously, It’s Simple

It’s tempting to think that all we need is more time to…think. We just need a few more hours to ponder, a few more days to ruminate, just a bit more time to figure out what the right thing to do is. Usually, that’s just an excuse. The truth is, we usually know what we’re … Continued

Acknowledging Something Higher

“Mediocrity,” Arthur Conan Doyle would say, “knows nothing higher than itself.” In 12 Step Groups the step many addicts struggle with most is Step 2—acknowledging a higher power. But I don’t believe in God,they say. What does this have to do with getting sober anyway, they complain. These are perfectly reasonable questions but in fact completely miss the … Continued

The Question To Ask About Money

If today should bring you a pay raise or a nice new contract, a nice uptick in the stock market or even a lottery winning, remember to ask this question about this money: “What am I paying to get paid this?” Wealth is never free. It always bears a cost. In what was required to … Continued

Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own

There’s no way around the fact that the Stoics talked about suicide. A lot. To the Stoics, suicide was famously the “open door”—the option available to anyone, at any moment. Cato, one of the most vaunted and towering Stoics, went through that door, gruesomely and bravely. So too, did Seneca. But it is worth pointing out, in a summer … Continued

It Could Always Be Worse

One of the best ways to make even the worst situations a little better is to remind yourself that the situation is not even close to the worst. As bad as things look in Houston (and quite possibly will be in Florida soon), on this day 117 years ago hurricane winds of more than 120mph … Continued

Are You Even Using Your Eyes?

A terrible fear: That we could lose our eyesight. How terrible it would be to be blind, feeling our way around through life as though we are in the dark. Were you to tell a Stoic about this fear, they would nod and listen and then ask: Are you even really using your eyes? Do … Continued

We Are All Born Equal

All men and women are born equal in the human sense. We are born with the same flaws, the same tendencies. All of us are prone to anxiety. If we don’t all fear the same things, we have the same fear, just as if we don’t all find ourselves drawn to the same temptations or addictions, … Continued