What Did The Stoics Think About Fame?

There’s an old joke: The best way to punish someone is to give them exactly what they wish for. Nowhere is this more true than fame. How many actors and musicians dreamed their whole life of hitting it big, only to find themselves unhappy when it happens for them? How many business people crave recognition … Continued

A Stoic Response to Bad News

“The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, because an artful life requires being prepared to meet and withstand sudden and unexpected attacks.” Marcus Aurelius Life can knock us on our ass, can’t it? Just out of nowhere, our legs are suddenly in the air and we’re on the ground. An email from … Continued

The Stoic Range of Virtue: In Defense of Moderation

This is a guest post by Alex J. Hughes who is a writer and software product manager based in Nashville, TN. Join his reading list for 5+ monthly book recommendations–with notes so you can start to dig in–and his latest articles. *** As a society we pride ourselves on extremes. We flaunt how few hours of … Continued

A Stoic Response To Mean Or Selfish People

“Kindness is invincible, but only when it’s sincere, with no hypocrisy or faking. For what can even the most malicious person do if you keep showing kindness and, if given the chance, you gently point out where they went wrong— right as they are trying to harm you?” — Marcus Aurelius It’s a fact of … Continued

It’s not about Stoic WEEK, But Life

Here we are, with International Stoic Week upon us once again. This is exciting because thousands of new people will be exposed to philosophy for the very first time. Philosophy, as the Stoics saw it, was not abstraction. It was not theoretical. It was not something you fooled around with just for school. It was designed to help … Continued

Amor Fati: The Formula for Human Greatness

The great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche would describe his formula for human greatness as amor fati—a love of fate. “That one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backwards, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it….but love it.” The Stoics were not only familiar with this attitude … Continued

A Stoic Response to Writer’s Block

The Stoics were writers. Real writers, too. Marcus Aurelius was such a brilliant writer that his private journal has survived and become one of the most beloved philosophy texts in history. In his own time, Seneca was considered one of Rome’s great playwrights, and was popular enough that a line from his play Agamemnon is … Continued

A Stoic Response To Wanderlust (and the Travel Bug)

“Do you suppose that you alone have had this experience? Are you surprised, as if it were a novelty, that after such long travel and so many changes of scene you have not been able to shake off the gloom and heaviness of your mind? You need a change of soul rather than a change … Continued

A Stoic Response to Being Punched or Insulted

  “Who then is invincible? The one who cannot be upset by anything outside their reasoned choice.” — Epictetus In his essay “Of Anger” Seneca relates a telling story about another prominent Stoic. Visiting the public baths one day, Cato was shoved and struck. Once the fight was broken up, he simply refused to accept … Continued