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Stoicism Doesn’t Mean Emotionless: An under-considered approach to life

Saturday, October 8, 2016 0:45
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Many people think Stoicism is merely a synonym for “emotionless” or, at most, a dusty ancient-Greek philosophy.

While, yes, Stoicism originated with such ancient illuminati as Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius, it’s far beyond “emotionless.”

And Stoicism is more widely adopted today than one might think: from the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks staff to rapper LL Cool J and broadcaster Michele Tafoya.

Plus, Stoicism’s devotees have included some of history’s most admired people: George Washington, Walt Whitman, Frederick the Great, Eugene Delacroix, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

What is Stoicism? It asks us to do good while staying calm, to focus on what’s important and under our control, not wasting thoughts let alone time on what’s beyond our control.
Easier said than done, especially with all the modern pressures that beset even successful people. 

To help, Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman have written the just-published book, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living. 

For each day of the year, this beautiful book (complete with ribbon bookmark) offers a quote from a top ancient Stoic followed by Holiday’s commentary to elucidate its relevance to us today.

My article today offers some nuggets I’ve extracted from the book.


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