School of Hellenistic Greek philosophy
When Marcus Aurelius heard that his beloved teacher Fronto had lost a grandchild, he sent him a letter. Perhaps, if you believe in the stereotype of the unfeeling Stoic, you might expect that this letter was intended to buck his friend up, or attempted to remind the grieving Fronto that loss was a part of life and something we had to be prepared for.In our recent interview with Professor Martha Nussbaum on the Daily Stoic podcast, we talked about this exchange.---And in today's Ask Daily Stoic, Ryan answers questions from a conference of tech and e-commerce entrepreneurs after a talk he gave in downtown Austin. The topics that he covers include how Ryan manages his time between writing books and creating content, why he searches for wisdom from a wide variety of sources, and how we can balance our decisions with the context that we are making them in.
Ryan speaks with Heather Cox Richardson about her new book Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America, her mission to deliver history as a way of promoting human connection, changing the game of story-telling, how to combat the dark energies that are fed by sowing division and more.Heather Cox Richardson is an American historian, author and educator. She is a professor of history at Boston College, where she teaches courses on the American Civil War, the Reconstruction Era, the American West, and the Plains Indians. In addition to her widely renowned books on history, which include How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America and Wounded Knee: Party Politics and the Road to an American Massacre, Heather also puts out a newsletter on one of the largest Substacks on the internet, Letters from an American, with over 1.2 million subscribers. She also co-hosts the Now and Then Podcast with fellow historian Joanne Freeman. Heather was named one of USA Today's Women of the Year in 2022. Her work can be found at heathercoxrichardson.substack.com. ✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Because of the work we've done. Because of the study. Because of the experiences. We know. We know what's right. We know what's possible. We know how things should go.The problem, as we've said before, is that it's very easy to forget that the Stoics believed only in *self-*discipline.
Look, we all mess up. We take certain people or clients for granted and a relationship deteriorates. We get distracted and make an unnecessary mistake. We are overwhelmed by a passion or a temper and do something bad.We're humans. It happens.What follows are consequences.---And in today's video excerpt from the Daily Stoic YouTube channel, Ryan defines nine key methods that the Stoics used to build character that will help steer you toward a new destiny.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
It's impossible not to read Marcus Aurelius or Seneca and sense that they were always working. Not that they were literally always at the office–as we said, they believed in a kind of work life balance–but on themselves.They were studying. They were reflecting. They were asking questions.---And with today's meditation on the day's Daily Journal excerpt, Ryan discusses why panic, which only serves to expose us to greater danger, can only be avoided by effective preparation.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
As one of history's most important biographers and essayists, Plutarch studied deeply the traits of great Greek and Roman leaders to identify just what it is that made them great. In today's audiobook reading, Ryan shares an excerpt from How to Be a Leader: An Ancient Guide to Wise Leadership, in which Plutarch clearly and succinctly lays out his thoughts on the subject, as well as his advice to anyone striving to become a leader. This book is part of the fantastic Princeton University Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers series, which you can find at The Painted Porch.
Ryan speaks with Jake Seliger about how his cancer diagnosis and having his tongue removed have changed his perspective on life, why he is prioritizing people much more highly than work now, how he is making every single minute count, what he is trying to communicate with his recent outpouring of creativity, accepting death, and more.Jake Seliger is a writer, editor, and researcher. He has written two novels: The Hook and Asking Anna, as well as many essays covering a wide range of social and scientific subjects. Jake is also the Principal of Seliger + Associates, a grant writing and grant source service for nonprofits, public agencies and selected businesses throughout the United States. In October of 2022, Jake was diagnosed with tongue cancer, which called for the complete removal of his tongue. Despite that surgery, a later diagnosis found that the cancer had spread more quickly than expected, and tumors were found in his neck and lungs. He and his family are now raising funds to undergo the next round of treatments. Jake's own account of the surgeries and reflections on his experiences can be read here: jakeseliger.com/2023/09/09/life-swallowing-tasting-and-speaking-after-a-total-glossectomy-meaning-i-have-no-tongue. You can find Jake's work on jakeseliger.com and on Twitter @seligerj, and please do visit his GoFundMe to help pay for his cancer treatment at www.gofundme.com/f/help-the-fight-against-cancer-with-jake-s.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
During the American Revolution—as in any war—the British quite rightly targeted the estates and the landholdings of the leadership on the American side. Because to them, these men weren't founders—they were instigators. At one point in the war, George Washington's estate was threatened by advancing troops. Thinking he might be able to save his boss's property, one of Washington's overseers rushed out to try to convince the enemy to spare them.When Washington heard about this, he was not pleased. In fact, he wrote immediately to his staff: I'd rather my home be demolished than receive special treatment.---And in today's excerpt from The Daily Stoic, Ryan explains why the competition found in sports is such a great space for planting and sowing the seeds of resilience, determination, and courage that directly transfer into a life well lived.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
It's impossible not to read Marcus Aurelius or Seneca and sense that they were always working. Not that they were literally always at the office–as we said, they believed in a kind of work life balance–but on themselves.They were studying. They were reflecting. They were asking questions. Late at night after his wife went to sleep, Seneca would pull out his journals and evaluate the day, going over what he'd done well, where he didn't live up to his standards. Marcus, most famously, was seen as an old man, picking up his tablets and heading off to attend a lecture by Sextus, a wise teacher.---And in today's Ask Daily Stoic, Ryan speaks with members of the Minnesota Twins organization about how Stoicism can be applied to make their business better. The lessons that Ryan covers include how her re-centers when he finds himself straying from his Stoic path, the "ah-ha" moment that got him hooked on the teachings of Stoicism, and why Stoicism is a philosophy for all of life.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Ryan speaks with Sid Stockdale about his who his new memoir A World Apart: Growing Up Stockdale During Vietnam speaks to, how his family survived his father's seven-year imprisonment, the valuable lessons that his father taught him about Stoicism upon his return home, the untold story of his mother's strength, and more.Sid Stockdale is a speaker, author, teacher, and the second of four sons of the late Navy Admiral James Stockdale, who survived captivity as a prisoner of War in Hanoi during the Vietnam War by embracing Stoicism and the teachings of Epictetus. Sid was an educator for 40 years, having taught history and hiring, evaluating, and mentoring teaching in independent schools across America. He currently serves on the board of trustees at his alma mater, South Kent School, in Connecticut. ✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
The Emperor Hadrian's life sometimes felt, as it does for all leaders, like an endless demand for favors. Letters came from across the empire asking for this and that. The Senate, the courts, his own family–everybody always seemed to need something. Naturally, he struggled under this burden. Naturally, he tried to create barriers and boundaries so he could do his job…and maintain some level of sanity amidst all the requests.
This week on Acta Non Verba Jessie Torres shares her personal journey of overcoming abuse and trauma, as well as her commitment to breaking the cycle of abuse in her own family. Listen in as we explore the importance of facing adversity and finding the light in our darkest moments. We emphasize the power of changing our perspective and taking ownership of our emotions and actions. We also discuss the need for greater focus on wellness, emotional intelligence, and acts of kindness in society. For the last 20 + years Peak Performance Coach and Life Strategist, Jessie Torres has coached thousands of High Performance People from all walks of life and various parts of the world that have achieved success and the highest level of fulfillment. Out of the top 120 coaches on the planet, Jessie ranked either number 1 or top 3 in every measurable category while working with the top coaching company in the world. Jessie is fueled by a passionate love for humanity and a burning desire to end suffering. She is driven to discover the truth of the client's deepest potential and unlock the limitless opportunities that leave others in the dark ages! Bringing all levels of mindset, emotional intelligence, energy and strategy with an authentic, client driven approach. Jessie's teachings will help you transform your life from pain or trauma into purpose and passion, what Jessie refers to as “Fierce Grace”. You can learn more about Jessie at: https://unshakeablelife.com Learn more about the gift of Adversity and my mission to help my fellow humans create a better world by heading to www.marcusaureliusanderson.com. There you can take action by joining my ANV inner circle to get exclusive content and information.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Everything seems fine. Everything seems better than fine. Your life is going great. You're happy. You're in love. Your finances are great. But will it last? Or will Fortune, as Seneca said she is wont to do, surprise you with a reversal?---And in today's Daily Stoic video excerpt, Ryan shares why running is an excellent activity to use to practice Stoic, from its mental and physical endurance benefits, to its strengthening of resilience.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
After a long line of incompetence, after a long chain of excuses, after a series of failures, the Union cause finally turned around when General Ulysses S. Grant took command. Other generals had focused on pomp and circumstance, they had been anxious and defensive, they claimed they didn't have the resources or troops they needed.As the great historian Bruce Catton wrote in The Hallowed Ground, “when Grant showed up things began to happen.” It didn't matter if he was in charge of a small army or a big one, he was a leader and when leaders arrive, they make a difference.---And in today's reading from the Daily Stoic Journal, Ryan explains why it's so important to remember the idea that "hurt people hurt people" when thinking about how to respond to haters.
Agrippinus marched to the beat of his own drum. Today, Ryan reads from his book Lives Of The Stoics to explain just what that meant for one of the most eccentric and interesting Stoic philosophers, Paconius Agrippinus, who was heralded by Epictetus as a pillar of Stoicism, and who was willing to die to be himself. ✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Ryan speaks with James Outman on why he believes that baseball and Stoicism both promote the same practices, why baseball players are uniquely prepared to deal with failure, how practicing the Stoic mindset helps him survive “the yips”, why Lou Gehrig's story is the perfect example of Memento Mori, and more.James Outman is a professional baseball player who plays centerfield for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Since being called up to the Majors in July of 2022, James has amassed a batting average of .260 with 18 home runs and 81 RBI (as of September 2023). The highlights of his rookie season included hitting the Dodgers' first home run of the 2023 season, and a go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs, as well as winning the National League Rookie of the Month award for April 2023. James credits much of his MLB success to the mental fortitude that he has developed since reading The Obstacle Is The Way during the pandemic and studying Stoicism ever since. You can follow James on Instagram @jamesoutman and Twitter @james_outman.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
With the proliferation of dashcams and the spread of social media, we see these clips everywhere. It's basically its own genre of video at this point. A driver is frustrated with someone going too slow in front of them, so they honk. Then they swerve, step on the gas to pass them–often waving a middle finger or honking a horn or shouting out a rolled down window as they do so–only to almost immediately get pulled over. Or violently crash. A vivid, painful demonstration of poetic justice a few miles down the road.It would be funny if it wasn't so dangerous.---And in today's excerpt from the Daily Stoic, Ryan discusses why it's better to devote your time and energy to actually doing things instead of letting everybody else know that you are doing them.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
No one knows what the future holds, but if it's anything like the present or the past, it will not be easy. Things will not go our way. Tragedies will happen. Injustices will be inflicted upon us. Institutions will crumble. People will behave abominably. Mistakes will be made. Disasters will strike.When, where, why? No one can say.But in a sense, the answers to those questions don't really matter.---And in today's Ask Daily Stoic, Ryan answers questions from employees at a talent acquisition recruiting company called Gem who he gave a talk to upon the recommendation of an old friend. The topics he covers include how to prioritize only what is essential in life, daily practices to prevent self-doubt from creeping into your mind, how having kids humbles you, and more.
This week on Acta Non Verba Mark Hardie discusses stoic philosophy, the importance of preparation and leading by example, and the commando spirit. Listen in as Mark and I explore the significance of cheerfulness and self-reliance in challenging situations, as well as the importance of values and virtues in businesses. Mark also shares his personal experience working with grieving families and how stoicism helped him cope. We discuss the importance of training and preparation for dealing with adversity and the impact of pressure on human performance. Finally, Mark emphasizes the need for continuous adaptation and learning, as well as creating an environment where learning and improvement are prioritized over blame and punishment. Mark Hardie is a former Royal Marines Commando and the author of Think Like a Marine - Anticipate - Adapt - Achieve. He has an exceptional background rooted in a military family, where he experienced a childhood marked by frequent relocations between various bases and schools throughout the United Kingdom due to his father's service as a British soldier. At the age of 25, he embarked on a remarkable journey by joining the Royal Marines as an officer, dedicating nearly two decades of his life to the armed forces. His service included significant contributions in Commando units during the post-9/11 era. Throughout his tenure, Mark provided vital support to casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan, displaying unwavering dedication. You can learn more about Mark at https://thinklikeamarine.com/ Learn more about the gift of Adversity and my mission to help my fellow humans create a better world by heading to www.marcusaureliusanderson.com. There you can take action by joining my ANV inner circle to get exclusive content and information.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We don't think of the ancient Romans as living just like us, but in many ways they did. A recent archaeological dig in Bulgaria found a Roman estate with a collection of household mirrors. In the 1st century AD, Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History about the invention of glass mirrors, which means that Marcus Aurelius may have looked himself in the mirror in the morning just like you did.What did he see?✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Ryan speaks with Adrian Grenier in the second of a two-part episode about what it's really like to be famous, why and how he quit acting, how Adrian's lifestyle was shaped for the worse by his role on Entourage, how is living a better life now for his family, and more.Adrian Grenier is an actor, director, producer, podcaster, entrepreneur, and musician. He is best known for his role as Vincent Chase on the show Entourage and his roles in The Devil Wears Prada and Clickbait, as well as his directorial debut Shot in the Dark, which chronicled his search for his estranged father, as well as Teenage Paparazzo. He is currently producing a documentary series called Earth Speed in which he seeks out better ways for humanity to use its resources and capabilities to make positive impacts on the planet. Adrian's philanthropic work, including his promotion of sustainable living with his brand SHFT.com and his work with the Lonely Whale Foundation, garnered him the appointment of a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme in 2017. You can follow him on Instagram @adriangrenier and on Twitter @adriangrenier.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
General Victor Krulak was an exacting Marine. He drove his troops hard. He cared about the tiniest details. He expected perfection. So you might think he would be upset–or at least disappointed–when a major leading review of troops inadvertently knocked off his own hat…which was then trampled by every Marine who followed.---And in today's Daily Stoic video excerpt, Ryan shares his top ten rules that the Stoics promoted in order to help ensure that they stayed on the right path and didn't let the complexity of life overwhelm them.
On this day 22 years ago, Brian Sweeney was a passenger trapped on hijacked United Airlines Flight 175. He knew something was wrong, but he could not have fully understood that he and so many others were about to be murdered in one of the most hateful and deranged acts of terrorism in history.But in those final few short minutes of his life, he managed to leave a beautiful message on his wife's voicemail.---And in today's reading from the Daily Stoic Journal, Ryan explains why the Stoics valued having a plan and relying on the strength of their own thoughts and actions over praying for things that were not in their control.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Today, Ryan presents a talk he gave to a group of coaches at the Tennessee Athletics Department about the core concepts of Stoicism and how they can apply them to their coaching practices in order to make their players, teams, and themselves better. In this first half of the talk, Ryan explains how the wisdom that Marcus Aurelius gained during his tragic life can be translated into success on and off the playing field, and why Epictetus considered Socrates to be the ultimate ball player.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Ryan speaks with Adrian Grenier in the first of a two-part episode about their parallel career and life trajectories, what it's really like to be famous, the rock-bottom moment that led to Adrian taking control of his life, why he is striving to be a better father than his own, why farming is the only profession for a philosopher, and more.Adrian Grenier is an actor, director, producer, podcaster, entrepreneur, and musician. He is best known for his role as Vincent Chase on the show Entourage and his roles in The Devil Wears Prada and Clickbait, as well as his directorial debut Shot in the Dark, which chronicled his search for his estranged father, as well as Teenage Paparazzo. He is currently producing a documentary series called Earth Speed in which he seeks out better ways for humanity to use its resources and capabilities to make positive impacts on the planet. Adrian's philanthropic work, including his promotion of sustainable living with his brand SHFT.com and his work with the Lonely Whale Foundation, garnered him the appointment of a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme in 2017. You can follow him on Instagram @adriangrenier and on Twitter @adriangrenier.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Tom Brady has always been relentless about trying to get better. Trying to get his passes out quicker. Trying to get his spirals a little tighter. Trying to optimize his diet. Trying to recover from games faster.While almost none of us are like Tom Brady on the practice field, we're all like him in the sense that we spend a lot of time and energy focusing on improving ourselves at work, at our chosen craft or profession. But when it comes to personal improvement?---And in today's reading and meditation from The Daily Stoic, Ryan examines why Seneca stated that "no one is crushed by fortune unless they are first deceived by her," and the folly of trusting in fortune. You can read more of Seneca's views in On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long If You Know How to Use It.
A leader is a doer…but that doesn't mean they're always doing. In fact, if a leader is always doing, chances are they'll end up doing the wrong thing. Because they haven't taken enough time to think and study, question and prepare.---And in today's Ask Daily Stoic, Ryan answers questions from US Marines after a talk he gave at the 29 Palms Marine Corps Air/Ground Combat Center. The topics that they touch on include how to practice Stoicism with your closest family members, balancing the ego that it takes to want to do something great with the tenants of Stoicism, his thoughts on Nietzsche's assertion that human beings have a will to power, and more.
The Stoics were towering figures of their own time. Marcus Aurelius was cheered in the streets. Cato was widely admired. Musonius Rufus was called the Roman Socrates. Their reputations preceded them, as it should with anyone who takes their commitment to the virtues of courage and discipline and justice and wisdom seriously.But how do we square these reputations, which the men obviously cultivated and worked hard not to betray, with the idea that a Stoic isn't supposed to care about what others think?✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Ryan speaks with Brad Stulberg about his new book Master of Change: How to Excel When Everything Is Changing – Including You, the scientific basis for humanity's need for change, why all ancient wisdom traditions agree that the most effective way to deal with change is through skillful action, the Case For Tragic Optimism, why it is healthy to think of death, and more. Brad Stulberg is a writer, success coach, speaker, and entrepreneur whose work focuses on exploring the principles of mental health and mastery. His books Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success and The Practice of Groundedness: A Transformative Path to Success That Feeds--Not Crushes--Your Soul have sold more than 350,000 copies and have been translated into more than 20 languages, and he has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and TIME. He also co-created The Growth Equation, an online platform dedicated to exploring, defining, and realizing peak performance. Brad's work can be found at bradstulberg.com and on Instagram @bradstulberg and Twitter @BStulberg.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
You lead a large team. You are the head of a household. You have millions of followers or thousands of subscribers. And you often wonder,Am I being a good leader? Am I doing right by my kids, my followers, my employees? Am I being a good steward?It can be hard to know.But from the Stoics, we get a fast and easy test for whether we're doing a good job.It's this: Do you make people better?---And in today's Daily Stoic video excerpt, Ryan shares the wisdom that Marcus Aurelius learned from his father about being a good person, and how we can incorporate the same advice into our lives.
Labor Day was first proposed by Matthew Maguire, a labor union secretary in 1882 in New York. It is a “tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country” and the idea that they deserved a rest for that work. The Stoics were hard driving, no-excuses, disciplined folks but they would have supported that idea wholeheartedly. “The mind must be given relaxation—it will rise improved and sharper after a good break,” Seneca wrote. He used the analogy of farming. A field that isn't given a break, where crops are not rotated, will quickly lose its fertility. So too will a mind and a body that's overworked.So by all means, take your much deserved break today. We are human beings after all, not human doings.---And in today's meditation for The Daily Stoic Journal, Ryan discusses why now is the time of year to embark upon the Stoic concept of "a hard winter training" in order to strengthen yourself for the cold months as well as for the rest of your life.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
When Ryan was asked to give a talk to the leaders of one of the most foundational companies in American history, the United States Steel Corporation, he drew inspiration from Marcus Aurelius' examinations of fire - how it melts whatever material is thrown into it in order to create fuel and heat - to put together a speech that illustrates how the Stoic virtue of Courage can be converted into success at the highest levels of industry.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Ryan speaks with Rainn Wilson in this second of a two-part conversation about the best entry points for the average person into philosophy and spirituality, why the serenity prayer applies to everyone, how the struggles he experienced in his early acting career led to him landing the role of Dwight Schrute, why he wishes that he enjoyed his time on The Office more, his take on the state of the writers' strike, and more.Rainn Wilson is an actor, comedian, author, podcaster, writer, and director. He is most known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the NBC sitcom The Office (2005-2013), for which he earned three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Highlights of Rainn's extensive film and television credits include Galaxy Quest (1999), Almost Famous (2000), Full Frontal (2003), Six Feet Under (2003-2005) and Mom (2018-2021). Outside of acting, Wilson published his autobiography, The Bassoon King, in 2015, and co-founded the digital media company SoulPancake in 2008, and as an author and podcaster he spreads a message of building togetherness and community by way of spiritual and philosophical awakening within the global culture. You can follow Rainn on Instagram @rainnwilson and Twitter @rainnwilson, and on soulboom.com.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
A couple minutes of traffic on the way to work. The tone that the person was talking to you with. The scratch in your brand new painted wall. The lost pair of AirPods–the cost of replacing them. The speed of the promised promotion, word that a colleague is making a smidge more. The culture war issue of the moment. The tenor of the media coverage for your new project…or the lack thereof. The insult from someone you thought was a friend.All these things seemed like they mattered.But there will come a time when all the reasons, all the legitimate concerns, the perceived significance of these moments will seem baffling to you.---And with today's reading and meditation from The Daily Stoic, Ryan discusses why the Stoic's valued long-term resilience over flashes of luck, and how they built that resilience by undergoing a "hard winter training."✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Cato, one of the most vaunted and towering Stoics, built a reputation and a career out of his refusal to give an inch in the face of pressure. He fought to keep Rome as it was, as it always had been. He refused political compromise in every form. Cato was Cato. He could never be anything but rigid, upright, and strong.But Cato's inflexibility did not always best serve the public good.---And in today's Ask Daily Stoic, Ryan answers questions during the Q&A session of the Daily Stoic Stoicism 101 Course. Topics covered include the similarities between Stoicism and tenants of the 12-Step program, how to do the deep work that you enjoy without getting bogged down by the less enjoyable tasks that come along with it, and how to deal with information overload.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Ryan speaks with Rainn Wilson about his new book Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution, why the guy who played Dwight Schrute wrote a book on spirituality, how anyone can find a thread to the transcendent anywhere any time, how Stoicism is helping cure the crisis that young men are in today, what the Stoics would have said about climate change, and more. Rainn Wilson is an actor, comedian, author, podcaster, writer, and director. He is most known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the NBC sitcom The Office (2005-2013), for which he earned three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Highlights of Rainn's extensive film and television credits include Galaxy Quest (1999), Almost Famous (2000), Full Frontal (2003), Six Feet Under (2003-2005) and Mom (2018-2021). Outside of acting, Wilson published his autobiography, The Bassoon King, in 2015, and co-founded the digital media company SoulPancake in 2008, and as an author and podcaster he spreads a message of building togetherness and community by way of spiritual and philosophical awakening within the global culture. You can follow Rainn on Instagram @rainnwilson and Twitter @rainnwilson, and on soulboom.com.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
It's easy to nod along with a book (or even this email) when you're reading it. Or to double-tap the like button when you see an inspiring Instagram post.But how long does this stay with you? How quickly will its message flutter away? It's a critical problem for all of us out there who are trying to get better. Who are trying to actually live the principles of philosophy, and to rely on it in life's stressful moments, as well as life's ordinary hours.Inspired by the French painter Philippe de Champaign famous painting “Still Life with a Skull,” the sterling silver and brass ring, created by LHN Jewelry in Brooklyn, New York, features the three essentials of existence – the tulip (life), the skull (death), and the hourglass (time).The inside is engraved with Marcus Aurelius's timeless words: “You could leave life right now…” What's left to the wearer is to repeat to themselves the final half of his quote: “…Let that determine what you do and say and think.” Grab yours at dailystoic.com/MMring.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Marcus Aurelius must have wondered what he did to deserve all this. First, he lost his father at age three. Then he was pulled from his first love, philosophy, and pushed into politics. When he finally became emperor, roughly 200 years of peace exploded into 19 years of border wars and civil strife.There was a plague.There were floods.He had crippling health problems.At some point, as he buried another one of his children, as he wept over the ceaseless toll from disease and pestilence, he must have thought: Haven't I given enough? When will this end? What fresh horrors await?Yet somehow, someway, he never managed to give himself over to this despair. He kept going.---And in today's Daily Stoic video, Ryan discusses why the Stoics cherished and preached the value of recognizing the interconnectedness of everything, every being in the world, and how that belief guided them to treating their fellow human beings with love and respect.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Marcus Aurelius never claimed to be a Stoic.Gregory Hays, one of Marcus Aurelius's best translators (the one we worked with on our beautiful premium edition), writes, “If he had to be identified with a particular school, [Stoicism] is surely the one he would have chosen. Yet I suspect that if asked what it was that he studied, his answer would not have been ‘Stoicism' but simply ‘philosophy.'”---And with today's meditation from The Daily Stoic Journal, Ryan discusses why Marcus Aurelius viewed procrastination as a form of arrogance.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
In today's audiobook reading, Ryan presents an excerpt from one of the seminal texts of Stoicism, the Discourses of Epictetus, read by Michael Reid. As a series of lectures given by Epictetus that were written down by his pupil Arrian in 108 A.D., these discourses provide practical advice to think on and practice in order to move oneself closer toward the ultimate goal of living free and happy. In this third section, Epictetus discusses how we should see ourselves in comparison with the gods.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Ryan speaks with Christina Pazsitzky in the second of a two-part interview about what really matters in life, why studying history reveals how strange life is, enjoying what you have while you have it, how to navigate social media as a parent, and more.Christina Pazsitzky is a stand-up comedian, podcaster, writer, host and TV personality. Since starting her comedy career in 1997, Christina has been known for her intelligent, thought-provoking, and hilarious takes on the realities of women's issues, motherhood, and popular culture. In addition to touring the world, she has released four comedy specials, two of which have been featured on Netflix: Mother Inferior (2017), and Mom Genes (2023). Christina and her husband and fellow comedian Tom Segura host the hugely successful podcast "Your Mom's House" together, and she also hosts her own podcast, the popular “Where My Moms At?” where she discusses motherhood. You can find more about Christina's work, tour dates, and booking information at christinaponline.com and on Instagram @thechristinap, Twitter @christinap, and on her YouTube channel christinacomedy.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
This is not another note about memento mori.It's about a different immutable, inescapable law of human existence that comes to us from the Stoics through Heraclitus (one of Marcus Aurelius' favorites): Character is fate.---And in today's excerpt from The Daily Stoic, Ryan explains why the Stoics believed it was so important to honor the past, but not to live in it.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
In matters of law, Cato was a stickler. In matters of principle, Cato was uncompromising. His opponents found him exhausting. Even some of his friends thought he was impossible.Yet as we wrote about recently, people who bumped into him in the street were always surprised. By how nice he was. By how low key he was. There was the man who struck Cato in the baths, not aware of whom he was fighting with, only to be unceremoniously forgiven by the great Roman he had assaulted. There were the local dignitaries who didn't notice the powerful politician in their midst, and were gently reminded that future visitors might not be as easy-going as Cato. Again, few would have described the meticulous Cato as low maintenance, but in an important way–which is to say, ironically in unimportant things–he was. We should follow this example.---And in today's Ask Daily Stoic, Ryan addresses questions after a talk he gave to employees at the new Austin Public Library about how he curates his bookstore, the importance of having a physical space for books, the huge benefits that reading out loud provides for your brain, and more.You can watch the full speech and Q&A on the Daily Stoic YouTube channel here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUY7igobTqY ✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Ryan speaks with Christina Pazsitzky in the first of a two-part interview about her new Netflix comedy special Mom Genes, why she believes that comedians should go to college to study philosophy, how she balances her work and home life, why ego is a tool for survival in a comedy career, what the Stoics would have to say about cancel culture, and more.Christina Pazsitzky is a stand-up comedian, podcaster, writer, host and TV personality. Since starting her comedy career in 1997, Christina has been known for her intelligent, thought-provoking, and hilarious takes on the realities of women's issues, motherhood, and popular culture. In addition to touring the world, she has released four comedy specials, two of which have been featured on Netflix: Mother Inferior (2017), and Mom Genes (2023). Christina and her husband and fellow comedian Tom Segura host the hugely successful podcast "Your Mom's House" together, and she also hosts her own podcast, the popular “Where My Moms At?” where she discusses motherhood. You can find more about Christina's work, tour dates, and booking information at christinaponline.com and on Instagram @thechristinap, Twitter @christinap, and on her YouTube channel christinacomedy.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Seneca, Cato, and Marcus Aurelius operated in the real world. They navigated within and around the halls of power. They had people working above and below them, and they needed to figure out how to motivate, influence, understand, and accommodate those people. And while virtue kept them from being too Machavailian, they had to figure out how to affect change and get things done inside a world that wasn't so virtuous.So it's an interesting question: What is the most Stoic law of power?You can catch the entire conversation with Ryan and Robert in the video below. And don't miss out on their two live events next month: Strategy And Philosophy For Turbulent Times.Listen to the two best-selling authors discuss big ideas touching on a wide-range of topics–from apprenticeships to cutting-edge technologies, to productivity habits, to happiness—and take your questions from the stage.Grab your tickets to the Los Angeles event on September 19 here, and the Seattle event on September 21 here.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwURNy2Lfe8&ab_channel=DailyStoic✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
You may well have said it yesterday, or overheard someone else saying it, “Oh, I'll do it in the morning…I'll do it after I wake up…I'll get to it later…I just need to do this other thing first.”It's one of the oldest, most insidious lies in the world. Yet it's so common that we don't even notice it. We don't even realize that it is a vicious untruth that deprives us and the world of potential, of awareness, of understanding.---And in today's Daily Stoic video excerpt, Ryan shares what habits did the Stoics say we ought to cease, what vices should we avoid?.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
An explorer at Jamestown in the 17th century.A London gentleman during the Stuart Period.An unidentified person with the initials T.S. who lived during the Renaissance.Another with the initials E.R. who lived sometime during the 16th century.We hardly know anything about them. They almost certainly didn't know each other. But they have two things in common. First, they are dead. Second, while they were alive, they each reminded themselves every day that they would one day be dead. How do we know? Because they each carried a reminder of it on them at all times via their signet ring.---And in today's reading from The Daily Stoic Journal, Ryan discusses why the Stoics believed that to give in to hope of a better outcome - an outcome that is out of your control - is the same as giving into fear.
Known as the “Second Founder of Stoicism,” Chrysippus was a philosophical giant as revered as he was controversial. Today, Ryan reads from his book Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius to share the winding and often confounding story of one of the most important figures of Stoicism, and to explain why he died laughing.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail
Ryan speaks with Paul Kix about his new book You Have to Be Prepared to Die Before You Can Begin to Live: Ten Weeks in Birmingham That Changed America, how Ryan helped him shape his writing career after being laid off by ESPN, the painful realities of the Jim Crow south and 1963 Birmingham, and more.Paul Kix is an author, journalist, and podcaster whose wide-ranging work examines sports, politics, social movements, and world history. He is a former senior editor at ESPN Magazine, and has written for numerous publications from the Boston Globe to the Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. His highly acclaimed writings include his book The Saboteur: True Adventures of the Gentleman Commando Who Took on the Nazis, and his articles The Entrepreneur Who Is Dying to Succeed, Prepare for Death, and The Accidental Get Away Driver. You can find his work and writing course at paulkix.com, and on Instagram @paulkix and Twitter @paulkix.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail