The Daily Stoic - Deepstash
Pragmatic and Principled - Day 1

Wherever a person can live, there one can also live well;

  • Abraham Lincoln is the most renowned politician of his time. Even at a profession like that, he was ab...

135

STASHED IN:

498

The Daily Stoic

The Daily Stoic

by Ryan Holiday

STASHED IN:

2 Comments

Start where the world is - Day 2

Do now what nature demands of you. Get right to it if that's in your power. Don't wait for the perfect timing.

  • There is plenty that you could do right now, toda...

119

STASHED IN:

500

Stick with just the facts - Day 3

Don't tell yourself anything more than what the initial impressions report.

  • It's been reported to you that someone is speaking badly about you. This is the repo...

70

STASHED IN:

472

Perfection is the enemy of Action - Day 4

We don't abandon our pursuits because we dispair of ever perfecting them.

  • Psychologists speak of cognitive distortions - exaggerated thoughts which include
  1. If...

74

STASHED IN:

479

No Time For Theories, just Results - Day 5

When the problem arose for us whether habit or theory was better for getting virtue - Musonius thought habit to be more effective.

  • There is no time to chop logic over whether o...

47

STASHED IN:

458

How can people prove their words to be their own - by putting into practice what they've been preaching.

  • There was a lot of borrowing among the philosophers. That's because the...

37

STASHED IN:

453

You've endured countless troubles - it's enough already!

  • How many things you fear have actually come to pass? How many times had anxiety, jealousy or frustration lead you down ...

37

STASHED IN:

455

  • Philosophy isn't a parlor trick or made for show. It's concerned with facts that shapes and builds up the soul, gives order to life, guides action, shows what should and shouldn't be done - it...

23

STASHED IN:

446

  • This can be swiftly taught in very few words: virtue is the only good; there is no certain good without virtue; and virtue resides in our nobler part.
  • And what this virtue can be? Tru...

20

STASHED IN:

438

  • At 5'-3" tall, Muggsy Bogues was the shortest player to play professional basketball. Against all odds, he succeeded. He saw his height as his strength when others saw it as his weakness. In f...

15

STASHED IN:

438

  • Today, see if u can go without blaming a single person or thing. Someone messed up your instructions - it's on you for expecting anything different. Your stock portfolio takes a big loss - wha...

19

STASHED IN:

440

  • A good person is invincible, for they don't rush into contests in which they aren't the strongest. You will never compel what they set out for, nor trap them in what they would avoid. How can ...

15

STASHED IN:

441

  • Since the vast majority of our words & actions are unnecessary, confining them will create an abundance of leisure & tranquility. We must also confine unnecessary thoughts, too, so needless ac...

12

STASHED IN:

430

Inwardly, we ought to be different in every respect, but our outward appearance should blend in with the crowd.

  • Diogenes the cynic was a controversial philosopher who wandered ...

6

STASHED IN:

427

  • The way we nervously worry about some looming bad news is strange. By definition, the waiting means it hasn't happened yet so that feeling bad in advance is totally voluntary.
  • The pra...

18

STASHED IN:

435

  • It is essential for you to remember that the attention you give to any action should be in due proportion to it's worth, for then you won't tire and give up.
  • If you give things more t...

13

STASHED IN:

425

  • It's most easy to prove that so-called pleasures, when they go beyond proper measure, are but punishments.
  • Stoics don't say, "Stop doing this, it's a sin." Instead they say, "Don't do...

9

STASHED IN:

423

"I'll never be ashamed to quote a bad writer with good saying." - Seneca

  • Seneca was looking for wisdom, period. It didn't matter where it came from. This is something a...

9

STASHED IN:

416

  • Won't you be walking in your predecessor's footsteps? The ones who pioneered these paths aren't our masters, but our guides.
  • Traditions are often time-tested best practices for doing ...

11

STASHED IN:

408

  • I was shipwrecked before I even boarded... the journey showed me this - how much of what we have is unnecessary, and how easily we can decide to rid ourselves of these things whenever it's nec...

5

STASHED IN:

405

  • Heraclitus would shed tears whenever he went out in public - Democritus laughed. One saw the whole as a paradise of miseries, the other of follies. And so, we should take a lighter view of thi...

8

STASHED IN:

402

  • The founder of the universe, who assigned us to the laws of life, provided that we should live well, but not in luxury. Everything needed for our well-being is right before us, whereas what lu...

8

STASHED IN:

400

  • No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don't have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have.
  • John D. Rockefell...

12

STASHED IN:

402

If you start something and right away feel yourself getting lazy and irritated, first ask yourself: Why am I doing this? If it really is a necessity, ask yourself: Whats behind my relu...

10

STASHED IN:

397

No one does wrong on purpose.

  • The clearest proof of that hypothesis? All the time we did wrong without malice or intention. Remember them? The rude behaviour because we haven't ...

9

STASHED IN:

389

  • Cato the younger had enough money to dress in fine clothing. Yet he often walked around Rome barefoot. He chose this way because he was training his soul to be strong and resilient. He was lea...

9

STASHED IN:

384

  • Have you ever been to physical rehab? It's not a fun place to be. It turns out that healing hurts. The experts know where to exert pressure so that they can strengthen where the patient is wea...

5

STASHED IN:

377

  • "Hard winter training" is the notion that there is no such thing as part-time soldering (or part time anything for that matter). In order to achieve victory, one must dedicate every second int...

5

STASHED IN:

376

I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent - no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you. - Seneca

6

STASHED IN:

377

  • Remember, then, if you deem what is by nature slavish to be free, and what is not your own to be yours, you will be shackled and miserable, blaming both gods and other people.
  • But if ...

7

STASHED IN:

369

"You can bind up my leg, but not even Zeus has the power to break my freedom of choice." - Epictetus

  • Great men like Epictetus, Stockdale, McCain etc., where put under chains.

7

STASHED IN:

370

"Consider who you are. Above all, a human being, carrying no greater power than your own reasoned choice, which oversees all other things, and is free from any other master." - Epictetus

6

STASHED IN:

366

"No one is crushed by fortune, unless they are first deceived by her... those who aren't pompous in good times, don't have their bubbles burst with change. Against either circumstance, the stab...

6

STASHED IN:

361

"There is no reason to live and no limit to our miseries if we let our fears predominant." - Seneca

"Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itse...

7

STASHED IN:

363

"Here's a lesson to test your mind's mettle: take part of a week in which you have only the most meager and cheap food, and ask yourself if this is really the worst that you feared. It is when ...

5

STASHED IN:

357

  • At any moment, we may be toppled from our perch and made to do with less - less money, less recognition, less access, less resources. Even the "less-es" that come with age: l...

6

STASHED IN:

360

  • People tend to get ahead of themselves, thinking they've got it all figured out and are better than those that don't. It becomes so unpleasant when someone has to drop some knowledge on them. ...

9

STASHED IN:

359

  • The stoics give us a marvelous concept: the Inner Citadel. It is this fortress, they believed, that protects our soul. Though we might be physically vulnerable, our inner domain is impenetrabl...

5

STASHED IN:

356

Try praying differently, and see what happens: instead of a 'way to get rid of him,' try asking for 'a way to not crave his demise.'

  • Prayer has a religious connotation, but in ...

6

STASHED IN:

345

  • After all you've read, it night be tempting to think: This stuff is great. I get it. I'm a Stoic. But it's not that easy. Just because you agree with the philosophy doesn't mean the r...

5

STASHED IN:

344

  • Anyone can get lucky. There's no skill in being oblivious, and no one would consider that greatness.
  • On the other hand, the person who perseveres through difficulties, who makes it to...

4

STASHED IN:

342

  • When someone has a strong opinion about something, it usually says more about them than whatever or whomever the opinion happens to be. This is especially true when it comes to resentment and ...

5

STASHED IN:

338

  • Whenever you suffer pain, keep in mind that it's nothing to be ashamed of and that it can't degrade your guiding intelligence, nor keep it from acting rationally and for the common good.
  • ...

5

STASHED IN:

335

  • When you set your mind to a task, do you always follow through? It's good if you do. But don't let yourself become a prisoner of that kind of determination.
  • Conditions change. New fac...

3

STASHED IN:

331

  • Dancing is a popular metophor for life. One must go along with the music, feel and follow and flow with the partner. But the fact is nobody ever gets up on stage and tries to tackle a dancer. ...

5

STASHED IN:

329

  • We're going to get caught off guard from time to time. Not just by a terrorist attack or a financial panic - but also minor, unexpected occurrences. Your car battery dies, you don't feel well ...

4

STASHED IN:

322

  • The stoics saw sports as both a fun pastime as well as a training ground to practice for the challenges one will inevitably face in the course of living.
  • Everyone has found themselves...

4

STASHED IN:

319

  • The mind freed from passions is an impenetrable fortress - a person has no more secure place of refuge for all time. When we repeat an action so often it becomes unconscious behaviour, we can ...

3

STASHED IN:

307

"Being unexpected adds to the weight of a disaster, and being a surprise has never failed to increase a person's pain. For that reason, nothing should ever be unexpected by us. Our minds should...

3

STASHED IN:

265

  • We're all addicts in one way or another. We're addicted to our routines, to our coffee, to our comfort, to someone else's approval. These dependencies mean we're not in control of our own live...

3

STASHED IN:

260

  • You deserve a vacation. You work hard. You sacrifice. You push yourself. It's time for a break. Hop a plane, check into a hotel, and head to the beach - but tuck a book under your arm. Make su...

2

STASHED IN:

248

Robert Caro has written that "power doesn't corrupt, it reveals." In some ways, prosperity - financial and personal - is the same way.

  • If your mind has developed a certain cast - the ha...

1

STASHED IN:

246

  • We could look at the upcoming day and despair at all the things we don't control: other people, our health, the outcome of a project once it leaves our hands.
  • Or we could look out at ...

1

STASHED IN:

239

  • It can be beneficial to reflect on what you used to accept as normal! Consider your first paycheck - how big it seemed then. Today, as you've become more successful, these conditions would har...

3

STASHED IN:

238

  • Rubin Carter, the boxér was wrongly convicted of homicide and spent nearly 20 years in prison. He would say, "I don't acknowledge the existence of the prison. It doesn't exist for me." Of cour...

1

STASHED IN:

232

"Doesn't the light of a lamp shine and keep its glow until its fuel is spent? Why shouldn't your truth, justice, and self-control shine until you are extinguished?" - Marcus Aurelius

1

STASHED IN:

227

"But the wise person can lose nothing. Such a person has everything stored up for themselves because they invest well" - Seneca

  • Some people put their money in assets - stocks, b...

2

STASHED IN:

223

"Meditate often on the interconnectedness and mutual interdependence of all things in the universe. For in a sense, all things are mutually woven together and therefore have an affinity for eac...

1

STASHED IN:

223

"That which isn't good for the hive, isn't good for the bee. That which doesn't harm the community can't harm the individual." - Marcus Aurelius

Just because something is bad for yo...

1

STASHED IN:

220

"Better to trip with the feet than with the tongue." - Zeno

  • You can always get up after you fall, but remember, what has been said can never be unsaid. Especially cruel and hurt...

2

STASHED IN:

222

  • Watching other people succeed is one of the toughest things to do - especially if we are not doing well ourselves. In our hunter-gatherer minds, we suspect that life is a zero-sum game - that ...

1

STASHED IN:

215

"The person who does wrong, does wrong to themselves - making themselves evil" - Marcus Aurelius

  • The next time you do something wrong, try to remember how it made you feel. Rar...

1

STASHED IN:

207

"Yes getting your wish would have been so nice. But isn't that exactly why pleasure trips us up? Instead, see if these things might be even nicer - a great soul, freedom and honesty, kindness, ...

1

STASHED IN:

200

We go through our days responding and reacting, but it's better to really pause and ask: Is this the kind of thing the person I would like to be should do?

The work of living is to ...

3

STASHED IN:

197

"Leave the past behind, let the grand design take care of the future, and instead only rightly guide the present to révérence and justice. Révérence so that you'll love what you've been allotte...

1

STASHED IN:

192

  • All of us have used phrases like, "I'm going to be straightforward with you here... ", "I'll be honest with you... ", "No disrespect but..." Empty expressions or not, if you say you're being h...

1

STASHED IN:

187

"Hecato says, 'I can teach you a love potion made without any drugs, herbs or special spell - if you would be loved, love." - Seneca

  • Love. Love. Love. Why? Because, as the Beatl...

1

STASHED IN:

186

  • Let's say someone has treated you rudely. It's natural to think: Oh that's how the world works, or One day it will be my turn to be like that.
  • But the proper respons...

STASHED IN:

180

  • The person sitting next to you on the plane, the one who is loudly chattering and knocking around in your space? In these situations, you might feel it takes everything you have to restrain yo...

1

STASHED IN:

179

  • A virtuous person does not jump to hasty judgements about other people. A virtuous person is generous with assumptions: that something was an accident, that someone didn't know, that it won't ...

STASHED IN:

178

  • Stoicism is not a religion. You're not obligated to save anyone - there's no risk of hell if a soul remains ignorant to the Stoic philosophy.
  • But now that you've learned a better path...

STASHED IN:

174

  • The first person you meet today - passing acquaintance or friend - no matter the context - positive or negative - is an opportunity for kindness. For both of you. You can seek to understand wh...

2

STASHED IN:

173

  • It's pretty obvious that one should keep away from the wicked and two-faced as much as possible. Marcus is reminding us to avoid false friends.
  • But what if we turn it around? We've all...

STASHED IN:

170

  • When a bad habit reveals itself, counteract it with a commitment to a contrary virtue. For instance, let's say you find yourself procrastinating today - don't dig in and fight it. Get up and t...

1

STASHED IN:

171

  • What's the meaning of life? Most of us struggle with this question. Rarely do we find much in the way of direction. But that's because we miss the point. As Viktor Frankl points out, ...

STASHED IN:

168

  • Alexandria, the city in Egypt, still bears the name of its founder, Alexander the Great. How cool it would feel to have a city named after you?
  • Here's a thought: it wouldn't be cool. ...

STASHED IN:

157

  • Self-improvement is a noble pursuit. Most people don't even bother. But among those who do, it's possible for vanity and superficiality to corrupt this process.
  • Our will shouldn't be ...

STASHED IN:

158

  • It's easy to blame our circumstances. One person curses that they weren't born taller, another that they're not smarter, with a different complexion, or born in a different country. It'd be ha...

1

STASHED IN:

152

"Dig deep within yourself, for there is a fountain of goodness ever ready to flow if you will keep digging." - Marcus Aurelius

  • Today, we could hope that goodness comes our way ...

1

STASHED IN:

145

  • You have two essential tasks in life: to be a good person and to pursue the occupation that you love. Everything else is a waste of energy.
  • How does one do that? Stoics makes it simpl...

1

STASHED IN:

134

The best and the greatest number of authors have asserted that philosophy consists of three parts: the moral, the natural, and the rational.

  1. The first puts the soul in order.

2

STASHED IN:

133

  • It's something to think about when you consider whom to work with and whom to do business with in life. If you provide a bad example or something illegal or unethical advice to your employees,...

2

STASHED IN:

128

  • Philosophy attracts introverts. The study of human nature can make you aware of other people's faults and can breed contempt for others. So do struggle and difficulty - they isolate us from th...

1

STASHED IN:

125

  • In the hiring process, most employers look what jobs the candidates have held in the past. This is because past success can be an indicator of future success. But is it always?
  • Of cou...

STASHED IN:

121

  • According to Seneca, philosophy shouldn't have to accept what time or energy is left over from other occupations but instead we should graciously make time for those other pursuits only once o...

STASHED IN:

118

  • The notion of original sin has weighed down humankind for centuries. In reality, we're made to be good to each other.
  • You were born good. All of us have been made by nature, so that we...

STASHED IN:

119

  • Something happened that we wish had not. Which of these is easiest to change: our opinion or the event that is past?
  • The answer is obvious. Accept what happened and change your wish t...

STASHED IN:

113

"But I haven't at any time been hindered in my will, nor forced against it. And how is this possible? I have bound up my choice to act with the will of God. God wills that I be sick, such is my...

STASHED IN:

105

"Just as we commonly hear people say the doctor prescribed some particular exercises, or ice baths, we should in the same way say that nature prescribed someone to be diseased, or disabled, or ...

1

STASHED IN:

106

  • When people say change is good, they're usually trying to reassure themselves. Because instinctively we view change as bad - or at least we're suspicious of it.
  • The Stoics want you to ...

STASHED IN:

99

  • In undergoing the twelve step program, many addicts struggle most with step 2: acknowledging a higher power. Addicts often fight this one. At first they claim its because they're atheists or b...

STASHED IN:

99

"If the breaking day sees someone proud, the ending day sees them brought low.

No one should put too much trust in triumph, No one should give up hope of trails improving. ...

1

STASHED IN:

97

"Don't trust in your reputation, or position, but in the strength that is yours - namely, your judgements about the things that you control and don't control. For this alone is what makes us fr...

STASHED IN:

94

  • Marcus Aurelius didn't want to be emperor. Epictetus lived his life like a slave. Our station in life can be as random as a roll of dice. Some of us are into previlage and others adversity. So...

STASHED IN:

92

  • Is the ship of Theseus the same ship after every wooden plank of it is replaced or is it a new one?
  • In Japan a Shinto shrine is rebuilt every 23 years. Is it one shrine, 1400 years ol...

STASHED IN:

86

  • One of the striking things about history is just how long human beings have been doing what they do - living, dying, loving, fighting, crying and laughing. 
  • Popular books perpetuate th...

STASHED IN:

85

"When you are distressed by an external thing, it's not the thing that troubles you, but only your judgment of it" - Aurelius

  • Franklin Roosevelt, widely regarded as one of Ameri...

STASHED IN:

84

  • A sign on President Truman's desk read, THE BUCK STOPS HERE. As president, he knew that good or bad, there wasn't anyone he could blame for stuff other than himself.
  • As president of o...

STASHED IN:

82

"Don't allow yourself to be heard any longer griping about public life, not even with your own ears!" - Marcus Aurelius

  • It calls to mind a motto of British prime minister Benja...

STASHED IN:

79

"He was sent to prison. But the observation 'he has suffered evil', is an addition coming from you" - Epictetus

  • This is classic Stoic thinking, as you've gathered by now. An ev...

STASHED IN:

80

"Meditate often on the swiftness with which all that exists and is coming into being is swept and carried away. For substance is like river's unending flow, its activities continually changing ...

STASHED IN:

76

  • Hope is generally regarded as good. Fear is generally regarded as bad. To a Stoic, they are the same - both are projections into the future about things we do not control. Both are enemy of th...

STASHED IN:

76

  • Remember, the proper direction of philosophy - of all the things we're doing here - is focused inward. To make ourselves better and to leave other people to that task for themselves and their ...

STASHED IN:

73

Whatever our case is today, let's align our minds along these four critical habits:

  1. Accept only what is true.
  2. Work for the common good.
  3. Match our needs and wants with w...

STASHED IN:

71

  • Epictetus shows us the themes of tolerance and acceptance. Cleanthes and Euripides evoke destiny and fate as concepts that help ease acceptance. When one has a belief in a greater power, then ...

STASHED IN:

68

  • The events that will transpire today are the same things that have always occurred. This moment right now, is a quotation of the moments that have come before and will come ever after.

STASHED IN:

69

  • Perhaps wisdom and happiness are like winning a medal in the Olympics. It doesn't matter whether you won just once or in multiple events, a hundred years before or just now and it doesn't matt...

STASHED IN:

68

  • A Zen master who had a beautiful cup would repeat to himself, "The glass is already broken." He enjoyed the cup and used it, but in his mind it was already broken. And so one day when it actua...

STASHED IN:

63

  • There is only one thing that causes unhappiness. It's attachment. Attachments to a specific person, place, time, job or a lifestyle.
  • Attachments are what make it so hard to accept chan...

STASHED IN:

57

  • At a Roman triumph, everyone would keep praising the victorious general. Only a few would notice the aide whispering into his ear, "Remember, thou art mortal." What a reminder at the peak of g...

STASHED IN:

18

  • Stories about lottery winners tend to share one lesson: suddenly coming into a great deal of money is a curse, not a blessing. In just a few years, many lottery winners are actually in worse f...

STASHED IN:

14

"We are like pellets of incense falling on the altar. Some collapse sooner, others later, but it makes no difference."-Marcus Aurelius

  • Measuring ourselves against others makes ...

STASHED IN:

12

  • Turn your mind away from the things that provoke it. If you find discussing politics at home leads to fighting or your siblings choices bother you, why don't you stop making these choices your...

STASHED IN:

9

"If someone is slipping up, kindly correct them and point out what they missed. But if you can't, blame yourself-or no one." - Marcus

  • To be able to see that if a friend is unrel...

STASHED IN:

6

"Don't lament this and don't get agitated." - Marcus Aurelius 

  • There's that feeling we get when something happens. It's all over now. All is lost. What follows are comp...

STASHED IN:

1

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP: