Do you ever get a feeling of emptiness after spending hours binge-watching a TV show? I do, it can feel like eating junk food – enjoyable at the time but with no lasting benefit or satisfaction.
Binge-watching is what Robert Greene would call “dead time”:
While people wait for the right moment, there are two types of time: Dead time—where they are passive and biding and Alive time—where they are learning and acting and leveraging every second towards their intended future.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to do every now and again (this part is key) in order to release some pressure and completely switch off from our busy lives.
But what about the rest of the time when we want to feel like we’re actually learning something, when we need lasting satisfaction? Well, we could do worse than watching one (or all!) of the following talks on Stoicism.
Stoicism as a philosophy for an ordinary life – TEDxAthens
Presenter: Massimo Pigliucci
Description: How to change your life for the better by practicing ancient Greco-Roman philosophy as a way of life. Massimo Pigliucci has a PhD in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee. His research interests include the philosophy of biology, the science philosophy relationship, pseudoscience and the philosophy of Stoicism.
Why you should define your fears instead of your goals – TED
Presenter: Tim Ferriss
Description: The hard choices — what we most fear doing, asking, saying — are very often exactly what we need to do. How can we overcome self-paralysis and take action? Tim Ferriss encourages us to fully envision and write down our fears in detail, in a simple but powerful exercise he calls “fear-setting.” Learn more about how this practice can help you thrive in high-stress environments and separate what you can control from what you cannot.
The Great Courses – Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations: The Stoic Ideal
Presenter: Michael Sugrue
Description: A lesson about Marcus Aurelius and the history and meaning of Stoicism by Professor Michael Sugrue. You can find this speaker on “The Great Courses.” The course is titled “Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues.”
How philosophy can save your life – TEDxBreda
Presenter: Jules Evans
Description: When Jules Evans was in his late teens, he started to be plagued by panic attacks, mood swings and other emotional problems. He eventually found help in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). He went to interview the inventors of CBT, and discovered they were directly inspired by ancient Greek philosophy.
How to Practice Like a Roman Emperor
Presenter: Donald Robertson
Description: In this talk, Donald will be describing several key Stoic practices and psychological techniques found in The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius and other ancient sources. He’ll be comparing these to strategies found in modern evidence-based psychological approaches like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Presenter: Ryan Holiday
Description: In Meditations Marcus Aurelius wrote “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” Ryan Holiday is an American author, marketer, entrepreneur and founder of the creative advisory firm Brass Check. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
How to Be a Stoic When You Don’t Know How
Presenter: Chuck Chakrapani
Description: This talk is based on Chuck’s forthcoming book “How to be a Stoic When You Don’t Know How”. The focus of the talk is not on theory but on how to apply Stoic concepts to our daily lives to achieve the good life. Chuck will be presenting the fundamental concepts of Stoicism with specific mental exercises designed to reinforce these concepts.