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    We Always Lose When We Lose Our Tempers

    Daily Stoic Emails

    Something happened. You got pissed. Now two bad things have happened. That’s just a fact. 

    Because getting angry rarely makes things better—even if it helps you get what you thought you wanted. It taxes your heart. It causes you to be mean to other people. To “win” you had to lose your self-control

    This is not to say you should merely accept everything in life. The Stoics were not passive weaklings. It’s that they preferred persuasion, patience, and persistence to yelling. They focused on addressing root causes, not catharsis. 

    How much worse getting mad is than the things that caused it, Seneca said. “Anger always outlasts hurt,” he advised. “Best to take the opposite course. Would anyone think it normal to return a kick to a mule or a bite to a dog?”

    So if you want to win—at life, at philosophy, at accomplishing what you have set out to accomplish—you’ll need to rein in your temper. You’ll need to figure out the opposite course, develop more than one kind of response to things you don’t like. It’s easy to get angry, but it’s more effective to remain calm and come up with solutions. 

    Tame your temper. Don’t make problems worse by getting angry. 

    P.S. This was originally sent on April 15, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism.