You Must Take All This in Stride

Some people will love you. Some people will hate you. One day, Marcus Aurelius wrote, the crowd will cheer and worship you. Other days they’ll hit you with brickbats and hate.

You get a lucky break sometimes—get more credit and attention than you deserve. Other times you’ll get held to an impossibly unfair standard. They’ll build you up, and then tear you down—and act like it was your fault you got way up there in the first place. They’ll criticize you in public and privately tell you it’s all for show.

There will be good years and bad years. Times when the cards come our way, times when the dice keep coming up snake eyes. That’s just how it is. That’s just life.

The key, Marcus Aurelius said, is assent to all of it. Accept the good stuff without arrogance, he wrote in Meditations. Let the bad stuff go with indifference. Amor fati. Take it all in stride, whether it’s undeserved heat or slobbering praise. Let none of it affect you, take none of it personally.

Just keep moving. Keep doing your work. Keep being you.

That’s the way of the Stoic.

P.S. This was originally sent on November 25, 2019. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism. 

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