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©Darius Foroux

I discovered Stoicism in early 2015, right around the time my grandmother passed away, and I was dealing with a breakup and a career switch — everything happened at the same time. Stoicism helped me remain resilient during that difficult time. I’ve been studying the philosophy ever since.

Inspired by Seneca’s renowned letters, I’m starting a weekly column here on Medium, that I call the Stoic Letter.

Roughly speaking, there are two philosophies to base your life on.

  1. Seeking pleasure: Think of Hedonism and Epicureanism
  2. Finding pleasure in duty: Think of Stoicism, Zen, and other philosophies that promote self-reliance

I believe seeking pleasure is the current philosophy of the world. We live in a society that revolves around pleasure, consumption, and escapism. …


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©Darius Foroux

Today is Black Friday. I always see this as the perfect day to practice Stoicism. While all these companies are trying to persuade us to buy their products and services, I take the time to strengthen my mind. I learned this from Seneca. He wrote this to Lucilius: “Think that nothing deserves admiration except the mind, which being itself great counts nothing else as great.”

The Stoics should see us now! We frequently confuse our self-worth with our possessions. “If I have a valuable watch, it means I’m valuable, right?” Of course not. And you can replace ‘watch’ with any other external thing. An exclusive car, purse, suit, dress, shoes, TV, sound system, you name it. We use possessions to signal our worth. For a Stoic, that’s about as low as you can get. …


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©Darius Foroux

What were your plans for this year? I wanted to move to Valencia, Spain. I’ve been there several times and always felt at home. I had gotten pretty far with my plans. I made sure I had no long-term commitments and was looking at properties. But like the rest of the world, I had to adjust my plans. We were all forced to participate in a classic Stoic exercise.

This is something Epictetus talked about in his philosophy school. He said, “When you are traveling by ship, you can go to the shore, enjoy the scenery, collect shells, or pick flowers. …


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©Darius Foroux

It’s so important to only focus on what you control. Everyone seems to talk about that these days, which is great because we all need those types of reminders. But I also feel like I’m constantly bombarded with useless information, which neutralizes those good reminders. This morning I saw something about Bitcoin, and then I spent the next thirty minutes following one link after the other. I started reading about the history of money, but by the end, I was getting lost on Wikipedia. How often does this happen to you? …


It’s practical, realistic, and honest

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In 1994, Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, retired from the Chicago Bulls and tried to pursue a professional baseball career. Some say Michael was paying tribute to his father, who used to be a semi-pro baseball player and loved the game immensely.

From the start, everyone criticized Jordan’s baseball skills. His swings weren’t particularly good, and he was a slow runner in baseball terms.

The funny thing is that Michael Jordan’s first sport was baseball. And he was pretty good as a kid, but at 31 years old, he simply wasn’t good enough for the MLB. …


Is it really worth it to beat yourself up?

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“Oh man, it’s so hard to succeed in life. You need to sacrifice so much for it!”

That’s something you often hear. I agree with the first part. It’s very hard to achieve a worthy goal in life. We all know that good things don’t come easy.

But if you feel like you need to make a sacrifice to be successful, why even go after it? Is it really worth it? When I was still beginning my journey in self-improvement, I thought it was ALL about making sacrifices. I thought stuff like:

  • “If I want to succeed, I have to push myself to read…


Unlike other life theories, this is not about becoming successful

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Imagine that your life is like a wheel with six spokes. A wheel will keep moving if one of your spokes is broken or missing. But if multiple spokes are not working, your wheel will collapse.

To live an optimal life, you need to make sure all your spokes are tight. With a functional wheel, you’ll be able to move forward smoothly. In contrast, if your spokes aren’t tight, you might risk a bump in the wheel, which will make it hard to move.

I call this Six Spokes Theory. For most of us, this is the best way to look at life. …


Keep trying to heal yourself without taking unnecessary risks

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Any physical impairment has an impact on your mood, energy, and productivity. I’ve had lower back issues since I was 15 years old. And it haunted me many years through college, grad school, and my career after that.

Ever since it started, I was conditioned to go to physical therapists and chiropractors. The cycle was always the same. I did something that triggered my back pain, went to the chiropractor, got my back “manipulated,” and I was good…for a few months.

By the time I was 29, I was fed up with this cycle. One of my main goals in life is to be self-reliant. I don’t want to be dependent on people or tools unless it’s absolutely necessary. …


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We all thought this was a temporary thing. But here we are. People are already calling this the “COVID era” as if they are reading about it in a history book. But we’re still going through it.

For most of my friends and family, the social distancing and handwashing aren’t that bad. We got used to that stuff quickly. The tough part about this era is that life has changed permanently for many folks.

Rifts are created between people with different beliefs on wearing a mask. Complete industries are swept away and will probably never be the same. …


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With more people trying to make money online, thousands of articles give advice on how you can generate some cash in the digital world.

I’m personally not interested in only making money. I always saw digital business as a new way of providing value. My goal was to build a sustainable business for the long-term.

I must be honest; it took me years to build a stable business. And I’m no way near where I want to take my business. The good thing about being a struggling entrepreneur for years is that I’ve learned what doesn’t work.

Just like the majority of entrepreneurs, I’d rather have a business that grows consistently, than a business that’s up and down all the time. Too many digital business ideas are far from stable. How often have you heard of online businesses that dried up overnight after Facebook or Amazon changed something in their policy? …

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The Blog Of Darius Foroux

A new Stoic Letter, with reminders to focus on what matters, comes out every Friday.

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