Conor McGregor, the thinking man’s fighter

Recently two random topics I’ve been dabbling in collided: Stoicism and Conor McGregor.

I first started hearing about Stoicism through the Tim Ferris Podcast. He always has inspiring guests and I listen to his stuff regularly. He often points to stoicism and this prodded me to investigate a little further. It draws a nice little circle around a few ideas I haven’t connected before like being present and being grateful.

Separately I’ve recently become intrigued by Conor McGregor. I’m not much into MMA or UFC. And I’ve never seen him fight. But I’ve heard him talk about his craft and it really hits me. He has such clarity of thought. He knows who he is, where he’s going and how he’s going to get there. It’s not your typical chest thumping shouty stuff. It’s his quiet but unwavering belief that he’s already arrived that I find inspiring.

Turns out that much of McGregor’s approach aligns with stoic philosophy (I’m not sure if he’s a fan or if it’s just a coincidence) and some clever cat made a video. Then, said video found me (thank you YouTube algorithm).

It was very satisfying to connect the dots. Kinda like theory and practice coming together. Here’s this guy with such passion and belief. And here’s why it works.

If you haven’t heard of these I’d recommend them. Stoicism, seems to give perspective with a focus on what’s really important in life. And this cheeky little bugger from Ireland shows how it’s done.

I hope you enjoy. Let me know if you do.

This is the video that found me

7 principles

These are the seven principles mentioned in the video. Plus a few notes I scratched in. Not meant to be a detailed study of stoicism, but it helped me get my head around it. I hope you find it useful too.

  1. Want what you have. Appreciate this and don’t desire things
  2. Everything is neutral. It’s your reaction to events that makes you feel good/bad not the event
  3. Practice separation. Things you can control, things you can’t. “Improvise, adapt, overcome”. Spend energy on what you can control.
  4. Turning the obstacle upside down. Turn negatives into positives. Avoid negative spirals. There is no good or bad, only your perception of it.
  5. Assume voluntary discomfort. Avoid sense of entitlement. “Anxiety and fear is often based in ignorance and uncertainty “ – Seneca
  6. Emotions are created internally. Frame your thoughts on what happens inside, don’t react to external
  7. Care less. This is not the same as being careless. Don’t let external things that you can’t control create your mood.