PASSAGE OF THE WEEK:
Every day, all over the world, literally millions of people are practicing Stoicism together–going through the same spiritual exercises that Marcus Aurelius was doing in Rome or Zeno was doing in Athens thousands of years ago. They are training themselves, challenging themselves, lingering on the master-thinkers, building muscle memory so that they can draw on that strength when they need it.
— How To Train Yourself (Listen)
YOUTUBE TAKEAWAY OF THE WEEK:
In one of the most watched videos on the Daily Stoic YouTube Channel this week, Ryan Holiday shares some stories of the Stoics living up to their philosophy. Perhaps the best story in all of Stoicism comes at the very beginning:
“Zeno was this successful merchant, who comes from a long family of merchants. He suffers a shipwreck and loses everything. He washes up in Athens. He has nothing and there he discovers philosophy. This thing that he never would have wished for changes not only the entire course of his life, but of history. Later reflecting on this, he says, ‘I made a prosperous voyage when I suffered a shipwreck.’ Meaning the worst thing that ever happened to him was actually the best thing that ever happened to him. And that’s what a Stoic says: we don’t control what happens. Bad stuff is going to happen. But we control how we respond to it. We control what we turn it into. And whatever it is, whatever metaphorical shipwreck you’re going through, you can make it a prosperous voyage.”
Watch the full video: 6 Stoic Examples Of Living A Great Life
PODCAST TAKEAWAY OF THE WEEK:
In a recent episode of the Daily Stoic podcast, Ryan Holiday spoke to James Clear—the author of the New York Times Bestseller Atomic Habits—about where to start with habit formation, ways to shift your internal narrative, being flexible with your goals, and sticking to the process:
“When you stick to the process, every action you take is like a vote for the type of person you want to become. And so by performing small habits, by sticking to the process, you are in that moment reinforcing the identity of the person you want to become. And ultimately you get to a point where you’re no longer pursuing behavior change. You’re no longer trying to be someone new. You’re just acting in alignment with the type of person you see yourself to be.”
Listen to the full episode: James Clear on How to Build Better Habits
WHAT RYAN HOLIDAY IS READING:
“Reputation is invaluable. Freedom and independence are invaluable. Family and friends are invaluable. Being loved by those who you want to love you is invaluable. Happiness is invaluable. And your best shot at keeping these things is knowing when it’s time to stop taking risks that might harm them. Knowing when you have enough.”
— The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
YOUR STOIC WEEKEND REMINDER:
You are what you repeatedly do.
The Stoics were all about routine and repetition. It wasn’t just about knowing what the right thing was, it was about doing it daily. Fueling the habit bonfire, they said. They would have agreed with Aristotle—that we are what we repeatedly do, what we do in practice is how we play when it’s gametime. We become what we repeatedly study and focus on.
As Epictetus would say,
“capability is confirmed and grows in its corresponding actions, walking by walking, and running by running… therefore, if you want to do something, make a habit of it.”
Excellence isn’t this thing you do one time. It’s a way of living. It’s foundational. It’s what you repeatedly do.
(For more on this idea, watch this video!)
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