©Darius Foroux

Stoic Letter 24

Growing up, I often heard stuff like, “You can be anything you want!” And that motivated me to do well in school, to take care of my body, and to dedicate time and energy to building a career. The idea that you and I can do anything we want is very inspiring, but it’s also false.

Another thing I often heard was, “You’re the director of your own movie!” That’s supposed to motivate you to take matters into your own hands, to be the maker of your own life. While there’s some wisdom in that, the Stoic philosopher Epictetus had…

©Darius Foroux

Stoic Letter 23

I took a few days off last week because I wanted to rest. It’s something I learned from Dale Carnegie. He writes in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, “Rest before you are tired.” It’s a great piece of advice for avoiding burnout. But for most of my career, I used to wait to take a break until I was already tired and running on fumes. It’s like drinking water when you’re thirsty. The way to avoid thirst is to stay hydrated. It’s the same thing when it comes to resting your body. …

©Darius Foroux

Stoic Letter 22

One of the good things about the pandemic was that we quickly got used to being on our own. It was a forced exercise in self-reliance. When you spend most of your time at home, often the result is that you look at what you want to get out of your days. It’s a good way to live because you’re focusing on what you control.

But as more and more things are getting back to normal this year, we’re starting to look outwardly again. And when we do that, we automatically start comparing ourselves to others. Have you noticed this…

©Darius Foroux

Stoic Letter 21

I recently caught up with Mike, a former co-worker I used to be very close with. We hadn’t talked for three years, but it felt like only yesterday since the last time we met up in London. After our call, I got in a bit of a reflective mood.

Mike and I started our jobs seven years ago on the same day. That’s how we became friends; two hungry guys who were trying to climb the corporate ladder. A year and some change later, I left the job to pursue a writing career. But he kept at it. Sometimes you…

©Darius Foroux

Stoic Letter 20

One of my friends recently said he’s committed to seeing his parents more. I asked him why, and he said that he made some calculations. He said, “My parents are in their seventies. We usually see each other twice a year. My grandparents on both sides died around the age of 84. So at that rate, I would probably see my parents only 20 more times in my life.”

As a result of a simple calculation, he became more grateful for the moments he spent with his parents, and he tried to see them more often. In our lives, there…

©Darius Foroux

Stoic Letter 19

Over the past year, most of us have been working from home and spending more time than usual on our own. Throughout the day, there’s no one who’s watching what we’re doing. It’s been the perfect self-awareness exercise to figure out what our true motives are.

So often, we’re motivated by getting the approval of other people. The jobs we take, the books we read, the clothes we buy, the pictures we take for social media, the people we associate with. We do those things because we want to be liked by others.

I can’t lie, I’ve lived the majority…

©Darius Foroux

Stoic Letter 18

When I mention to people that I follow Stoic principles in my life, they often assume I live very frugally and have no desire to grow. I don’t know why people have that perception. I think Stoicism and trying to improve your life and career can go hand in hand.

Epictetus, who always advocated a very simple lifestyle in his teachings, said this about money: “If you can make money remaining honest, trustworthy, and dignified, by all means; do it. But you don’t have to make money if you have to compromise your integrity.”

You see? We can do both…

©Darius Foroux

Stoic Letter 17

Over the last few months, I’ve been hearing a lot about this new social media app, Clubhouse. I tried it last month. And I really don’t get why people prefer talking to strangers, while they could use that time to call their friend, sibling, mother, father, or anyone else who’s close to them.

Those meaningless conversations on social media will not be there for you when you struggle or feel lonely. Those people are probably also not your real friends. It reminds me of all the empty friendships I’ve had in the past.

In college, my friends were the guys…

©Darius Foroux

Stoic Letter 16

What does it take to be happy? Going out with friends? Hanging out at the beach, drinking a mojito? Earning a lot of money? Good health?

Our Stoic friend, Seneca, argued that it was something else. He said: “No one can live happily, or even bearably, without the pursuit of wisdom.”

In my experience, this is 100% accurate. That’s why I’m surprised people are getting knocked out by the mental toll of the pandemic. Healthy people with jobs and safety complain about how hard life is right now.

I can relate to it a bit. But remember that our ancestors…

©Darius Foroux

Stoic Letter 15

Here’s how I used to set goals for myself. I looked at what kind of outcome I desired and then set a goal to achieve that thing. When it came to my career, I always looked at how much money I wanted to make.

So my goals looked like this: “I want to make $100K a year.” And when it came to my health, it would be this: “I want to put on 5 pounds of muscle.” That stuff never works. Can you relate to that?

How often have you been frustrated by your own goals? You set goals, things…

The Blog Of Darius Foroux

Creator of the Stoic Letter | Author of 7 books and 6 courses at dariusforoux.com

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