Avoid These Debts

One of the more interesting (and modern) themes running through the works of the Stoics has to do with debt. Seneca particularly is always talking about wealthy Romans who have spent themselves into debt and the misery and dependence this creates for them. In fact, he has a whole series of essays titled On Benefits, that largely deal with … Continued

What Are You A Slave To?

Are you free? You might tell yourself you are. You might live in a country in which you can vote. You might be able to get up and choose how your days run. But what are you hooked on? What are you a slave to? Coffee? Adrenaline? Work? Money? Do you wake up every day … Continued

The Airing of Grievances

On December 23rd, many Americans celebrated the made up holiday of Festivus, from the show Seinfeld. The most important ritual in the celebration of Festivus is the “Airing of Grievances,” where each person goes around the room and lets their family and friends know the various ways they’ve let them down in the last year. As … Continued

A Star Was Born

Roughly 2,000 years ago, a child was born in a province of the Roman empire. He would go on to be one of the great philosophers who ever lived—teaching people about the importance of kindness, mercy, forgiveness, on doing one’s duty, on the corruptive influence of wealth and the redemptive power of poverty and adversity. … Continued

It’s All In Your Head

What are you worried about right now? Your job? Your family? Your future? Your health? You’re not crazy to worry. Bad things could happen related to any of them. A car accident. An economic downturn. A surprise diagnosis. But let’s go backwards in time a month, a year, five years. What were you worried about … Continued

You Don’t Get Unlimited Lives

If there is one sublimated fantasy that video games fulfill it’s the ability to start over. You are doing poorly so you crash your car and start back at the beginning. Or your character is shot to pieces, but you have extra lives so you regenerate and are airdropped back into the “world” with full … Continued

The Only Real Estate You Actually Control

Take your standard news story about a tornado devastating a town, or record flooding. What does it show? Just how exposed we are to the whims of nature—Fortune as the Stoics would call it. All that money, time, and energy people put into their homes, their businesses, their beautiful parks and town squares…all of it destroyed … Continued

Not Only Hold, But Profit From It

The landing at Normandy in June 1944 was one of the most stunning and impressive invasions in military history. More than 326,000 Allied troops had landed on those French beaches of Normandy with over 100,000 tons of military equipment. But as is so common in war and in life, those hard-won successes were followed by … Continued

They Only Affect You As Much As You Let Them

Anyone who has done anything consequential—whether good, bad, ugly, or worse—has been criticized. Sometimes for things they deserved to be and sometimes not. Everyone from Mother Teresa to Winston Churchill has had to face, and face down, opposition in the public, the press, and even among the people closest to them. They’ve had their names … Continued