Just a few things. A good quote to start the morning. A little song to start the work day. A good poem with lunch. A fine picture next, and a few reasonable words spoken over dinner with a good friend or loved one. Do that each day, and that will make a happy life.

— Very Little Is Needed (Listen)


In one of the most watched videos on the Daily Stoic YouTube Channel this week, Ryan Holiday shares the many lessons from Stoicism that can help you succeed in business. Lessons about how to handle challenges and adversity, how to get the most out of people, how to not be all about business, and how to handle other people’s opinions:

Marcus Aurelius said, we care about ourselves more than other people, and then for some reason, we care about their opinions more than our own. Which is crazy. You’ve got to know why you’re doing what you’re doing, why you think it’s important, why you think it can be successful, why the math on it works, and that has to be enough. If you seek outside approval all the time, if you want everyone to tell you that you’re amazing, if you want everyone to root for you, I got bad news: it’s not going to happen. And so one of the things that Stoicism helps us with is building some of that confidence—not ego—that confidence to tune out criticism that doesn’t matter, tune out people that don’t matter, to remember that some people don’t know what they’re talking about, and that you don’t have to listen to those people.”

Watch the full video: 6 Stoic Lessons For Entrepreneurs and Business Owners


In a recent episode of the Daily Stoic podcast, Ryan Holiday interviewed Sarah Churchwell about her book Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby, the virtues and vices of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the similarities between Gatsby and the movie Scarface:

SARAH CHUCHWELL: We’ve romanticized the Prohibition, but what you have to remember is, alcohol was illegal. Gatsby is effectively a drug dealer. If Fitzgerald were writing in the ’80s, Gatsby would have been a cocaine dealer, and everybody would have liked to go to his parties to get the best Columbian cocaine…

RYAN HOLIDAY: So the movie Scarface and The Great Gatsby are essentially the same story?

SARAH CHUCHWELL: Uh huh. Absolutely. We forget how much Gatsby is a gangster story. Because it’s so poetic and because it’s so romantic and because we’re not used to lyrical gangster stories. But The Great Gatsby is absolutely a gangster story.

Listen to the full episode: Professor Sarah Churchwell on Genius, Big Dreams and F. Scott Fitzgerald


“Time is something that we have no control over. So patience begins with acceptance of natural rhythms. The implied benefit of impatience is to save time by speeding up and skipping ahead of those rhythms. Paradoxically, this ends up taking more time and using more energy. It’s wasted effort. When it comes to the creative process, patience is accepting that the majority of the work we do is out of our control. We can’t force greatness to happen. All we can do is invite it in and await it actively. Not anxiously, as this might scare it off. Simply in a state of continual welcoming.”

— The Creative Act by Rick Rubin


Amor fati.

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 but they embraced it. Two thousand years ago, writing in his own personal journal which would become known as Meditations, Emperor Marcus Aurelius would say: “A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it.” Another Stoic, Epictetus, who as a crippled slave has faced adversity after adversity, echoed the same: “Do not seek for things to happen the way you want them to; rather, wish that what happens happen the way it happens: then you will be happy.”

It is why amor fati is the Stoic mindset that you take on for making the best out of anything that happens: Treating each and every moment—no matter how challenging—as something to be embraced, not avoided. To not only be okay with it, but love it and be better for it. So that like oxygen to a fire, obstacles and adversity become fuel for your potential.

(For more on this idea, watch this video!)




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