Be As Good As You Can Be

There is a line in a recent profile of Kirk Cousins, the quarterback who last week, after months of non-stop media coverage, finally signed with the Minnesota Vikings as one of the highest paid players in the game. There’s plenty of interesting Stoicism in the article—from Cousins’ disdain of money, his dedication to family, his pursuit of … Continued

The Last Words Of A Truly Great Man

It is tomorrow that marks the anniversary of the death of one of humanity’s greatest specimens. On March 17th, 180, in what is now modern day Vienna, Emperor Marcus Aurelius breathed his last breath and died. We don’t know exactly what his last words were. Cassius Dio claims that Marcus spoke his last sentence to his guard, saying to him, … Continued

Beware The Ides

On this day 2,062 years ago, Rome’s first emperor, Julius Caesar, was stabbed to death by a group of senators who hoped to restore the Roman republic. These senators were led by Brutus, who was married to Cato’s daughter, an avid student of all schools of philosophy, including the Stoics. Caesar was stabbed many times … Continued

12 Rules for (a Stoic) Life

Jordan Peterson, a former professor at Harvard and now a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has become a sort of cult-celebrity for his calm, articulate dismantling of political correctness and reactionary politics on both sides. He is particularly popular with young men, in part because of his message of self-sufficiency and self-worth, … Continued

A Unique Moment In History

The observation from Flaubert about a little discussed pivot point of Western Civilization. “Just when the gods had ceased to be, and the Christ had not yet come, there was a unique moment in history, between Cicero and Marcus Aurelius, when man stood alone.” What he is referring to is the period between the fall … Continued

What Proof Do You Have

You’re alive right now or you wouldn’t be reading this. But what proof do you have that you’re really living? Don’t overthink that question. It’s not some complicated metaphysical question. It is instead a variation on Seneca’s trenchant observation: “Often a very old man has no other proof of his long life than his age.” Meaning, … Continued

Remember: This Is Not Your Problem

The affliction of so many people? Other people. We’re driven mad by the mistakes, the comments, the rudeness, the lifestyle choices of people who are not us. We have to be able to remind ourselves: My problems are my problems, other people’s problems are their problems. As Marcus wrote, “Leave other people’s mistakes where they lie.” That is, in … Continued

The Unsuccessful Are Lucky

It’s interesting to consider that there is a certain survivorship bias when it comes to the Stoics. We really only hear about the extremely successful ones—the emperors and the writers, the playwrights and the generals. But given the popularity of Stoicism in Rome and throughout history, the vast majority of Stoics would have been ordinary people living … Continued

Some Rules For The Self

In his essay, On The Happy Life, Seneca makes an extended list of what he thinks a happy man ought to be. These rules, with only slight editing, are important enough to be laid out here in full. And worth trying to follow not only today but every day: -Let a man not be corrupted by external … Continued