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Exercise: Prepare Your Own Stoic Reminders

The Stoics have always been known for their commitment to preparation.  Think of Cato immunizing himself against future hardship by inviting insults and leaving his home barefoot, or Seneca advising Lucilius that “It is precisely in times of immunity from care that the soul should toughen itself beforehand for occasions of greater stress.” The old…

Curing Fear Of The Future

Something crazy happens every day I worry about the future. About 150,000 people die. I don’t think I’m causing it but still, it’s another incentive to stop. Things I worry about:  Will I hit this or that "life milestone" by this or that age?Will I achieve as much as those around me?Will I have the…

10 Non-Stoic Books That Feel Stoic

The more you learn about Stoicism, the more you realise the philosophy’s principles are at work in places other than just books by the Stoics or about them. It becomes easier to spot ideas that are complementary to the Stoic way of life. It even feels appropriate to make the effort to do so given…

Exercise: Hold Your Own Court Case

Cato the Younger was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic. He is remembered for his stubbornness, tenacity, immunity to bribes, and his unbending opposition to Julius Caesar (so unbending that he preferred death to being ruled by Caesar). He was a Stoic who exemplified virtue. When he was made quaestor in 65…

Be The Master, Not The Puppet

“Music, maestro, please!” With a flourish, the maestro assumes control of the orchestra.  Waving his wand with vigour yet control, he directs his charges. Magically, he draws harmonious sound from the different groups of instruments. The maestro sets the tempo. She synchronizes. She permits entry to the various ensemble members. She shapes the whole performance.…

Cleanthes & Deschamps: The Water Carriers

Before a big game between Manchester United and Juventus in 1996, United’s Eric Cantona sparked a row with Juve’s Didier Deschamps.“He gets by because he gives 100%, but he will never be more than a water carrier,” said Cantona. The "water carrier” label, used disparaginly by Cantona in this case, was also the nickname given…

A Reminder For You And Me

From time to time, you experience the deflating realisation that you are sick of yourself. You grow weary because familiar sets of circumstances that shouldn’t cause disturbance cause disturbance. Disturbance enough that simple tasks are a burden. Oh, this again - why do you do this to yourself? Negativity then begets negativity. The reaction to…

Exercise: Review Your Progress

As students of Stoicism, we don't just read about the philosophy and talk about its principles. We seek to practice it in daily life. In doing so, as anyone practicing anything does, we seek to become better. The better we become, the more we feel the benefits that the ancient Stoics spoke of - peace…

Stoic Week 2020

Stoic Week is an annual event run by the Modern Stoicism team that invites you to ‘live like a Stoic for a week’. It’s a free, seven-day course that has had over 20,000 participants since its inception in 2012. Having never taken part before, I decided 2020 was the year to give it a go.…

10 Ancient Lessons For A Modern Audience

Live Like Louise is a website that aims to help women achieve their health and fitness goals. Created by Louise Thompson of Made In Chelsea, it's perhaps not the audience you might expect to be interested in philosophy. But there's no reason why they shouldn't be, and after hosting an interview with Donald Robertson recently…

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