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The Daily Stoic

Author: Daily Stoic | Wondery

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For centuries, all sorts of people—generals and politicians, athletes and coaches, writers and leaders—have looked to the teachings of Stoicism to help guide their lives. Each day, author and speaker Ryan Holiday brings you a new lesson about life, inspired by the thoughts and writings of great Stoic thinkers like Marcus Aurelius and Seneca the Younger. Daily Stoic Podcast also features Q+As with listeners and interviews with notable figures from sports, academia, politics, and more. Learn more at DailyStoic.com.

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Why did Marcus Aurelius write his Meditations? It wasn’t for an audience. It wasn’t simply to practice his Greek or his rhetorical abilities—he was already good at all those things. The book lacks an author’s note and he never seemed to have told anyone about his intentions, so we can’t know for sure.But there are two clues that, when put together, provide an answer as good as any. Have you noticed how much of Meditations is about other people? The opening, “Debts and Lessons,” makes up nearly ten percent of the book. Almost every other page has at least one quote or one story or one mention of a story about somebody else.---And in todays Daily Stoic excerpt, Ryan discusses Epictesus's quote about where our anxiety comes from: "When I see an anxious person, I ask myself, 'What do they want?' For if a person wasn't wanting something outside of their own control, why would they be stricken by anxiety?"✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more, including the Premium Leather Edition of the Daily Stoic.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
We think we need a lot to be happy. We think we need piles of money. And power. And fame. And to get that perfect house and to marry that perfect person. There are so many things we tell ourselves we have to have.They are nice to have. But it’s not what we need.---And in today's Ask Daily Stoic, Ryan discusses the strategies he uses to identify when declining an offer is the best course of action. He also touches on the best ways to teach your kids about Stoicism, and how you can begin a fruitful journaling habit.For an easy way to start the day with the best Stoic quotes from Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus, and others, check out our Daily Stoic Page-a-Day Calendar.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more, including the Premium Leather Edition of the Daily Stoic.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
We think if we just make enough money, someday we won’t have to worry about it anymore. We think if we just get big enough, strong enough, we won’t have to worry about being pushed around. We think if we can just get through this or that rough patch, we can relax and not be so worried anymore.Of course, it never works out that way. Does that mean worry is just a part of life? Well, no–unless you choose for it to be.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more, including the Premium Leather Edition of the Daily Stoic.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Ryan looks back on some of the best discussions of 2022 that he and his guests had about building better habits. Featuring Dr. Nate Zinsser on looking for the positive aspects of your life while maintaining objective awareness, Josh Peck on his journey getting sober, Annie Duke on the power of walking away from things that don’t align with your beliefs, Amy Morin on overcoming mentally challenging situations by gaining perspective, Paul Bloom on the importance of recognizing our own bias, and Yung Pueblo on why serving the common good is the most valuable metric to measure great work by.To develop better habits in your own life, check out Session 2 of the New Year New You Challenge on February 1st! Enroll now to secure your spot or gift it to a friend.✉️  Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Obviously, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The earlier you get started on something that takes time, the bigger and better the results will be. As Seneca once said about the days that pass us by, "They are gone never to return." And that's sad. But as the second half of that expression about trees goes, the next best time is now. Today. Now is an opportunity to start. This is what you deserve.Today, Ryan talks to some of the top performing athletes and coaches about the keys that they use to make the most of their days, and how you can apply their insights to your own life.Today is the last day to sign up for Session 2 of the Daily Stoic New Year New You Challenge!✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more, including the Premium Leather Edition of the Daily Stoic.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
History is the same thing happening over and over again, Marcus Aurelius said. There’s nothing new under the sun.And yet, like all things in philosophy, the opposite idea must also be held true at the same time. The Stoics would also agree with what Stanford professor Scott Sagan once said, “Things that have never happened before happen all the time.”---In today's Daily Stoic reading, Ryan discusses the power of Marcus's assertion that "concentrating on the task before you like a Roman" is the best way to get through the day. ✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more, including the Premium Leather Edition of the Daily Stoic.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Ryan presents the first of six readings of Cicero's Stoic Paradoxes. Cicero was considered Rome’s greatest politician, and he has survived as one of history’s most enduring chroniclers of Stoic philosophy and the Stoics themselves. As Ryan explains in Lives of the Stoics, these paradoxes are designed to question commonly held beliefs in order to promote reflection and discussion. In that spirit, the first paradox sees Cicero examine the idea that “virtue is the only good.”✉️  Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Ryan speaks with Paul Woodruff about his book The Ajax Dilemma: Justice, Fairness, and Rewards, the ancient purpose of justice, reflections on a lifetime of studying philosophy, what serving in Vietnam taught him about justice, and more.Paul Woodruff is a classicist, professor of philosophy, and dean at The University of Texas at Austin, where he once chaired the department of philosophy. Before starting his career at the university in 1972, Paul served as an officer in Vietnam. His work deals with the translation, study, and analysis of works of ancient philosophy, with his best-known offerings focusing on Marcus Aurelius, Socrates, Plato, and philosophy of theater. His books include First Democracy; The Challenge of an Ancient Idea, The Necessity of Theater; The Art of Watching and Being Watched, and Reverence; Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue. The first book of philosophy that Paul ever read was The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Paul’s new book is Living Toward Virtue: Practical Ethics in the Spirit of Socrates.✉️  Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
People have different definitions of greatness or success.Maybe you think yourself powerful because you have a lot of people working for you. Or successful because you have a full calendar. Or important because you’ve been on TV. Or happy because you go from one pleasurable activity to the next.But do you know what Seneca considered the sign of greatness?---In today's Ask Daily Stoic, Ryan presents part 4 of his live Q&A at Alechemy in which he covers the "life books" that influence him every day, the mentors who he is looking up to right now, his own struggles with defining happiness in his life, and more.We’re launching Session 2 of the New Year New You Challenge on February 1st! Enroll now to secure your spot or gift it to a friend.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more, including the Premium Leather Edition of the Daily Stoic.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
He had considered not going public with it. He had wanted so badly to be able to keep saying, to get credit for being the guy who says, ‘I’m sixteen years sober.’ But he could not.So in September of 2020, the actor Dax Shepard opened up on his podcast about relapsing. The episode was titled “Day 7”—because after a streak of a decade and half he was effectively back at the beginning. “Today, I have seven days,” he said with as much strength as he could muster.Beautiful.---In today's Daily Stoic reading, Ryan discusses Epictetus's assertion that there are three areas in which a person who would be wise and good must be trained: desires and aversions, impulses to act and not to act, and composure of judgment. There are just 5 more days left to sign up for Session 2 of the Daily Stoic New Year New You Challenge! Sign up today and join Session 2’s discord channel!✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more, including the Premium Leather Edition of the Daily Stoic.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Marcus Aurelius was clearly torn about his fellow man. He was loving and kind and spoke repeatedly of serving the common good. He was also clearly frustrated and disappointed with the flaws of the people around him. Like many great men, he had trouble understanding that not everyone had his gifts, not all of them were capable of what he was capable of.You can see in Meditations how he wrestled with these feelings.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more, including the Premium Leather Edition of the Daily Stoic Journal.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Ryan speaks with Sarah Churchwell about her book Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby, the complicated figure of F. Scott Fitzgerald, how The Great Gatsby’s celebration of mad dreamers who chase the American Dream informs our pursuit of the same ideal today, and more.Sarah Churchwell is professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Her work focuses on 20th- and 21st-century American literature and cultural history, especially the 1920s and 1930s, including four books: The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe, Behold America: A History of America First and the American Dream, The Wrath to Come: Gone with the Wind and the Lies America Tells, and the aforementioned Careless People. She has written for numerous publications, including The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, the New Statesman, The Guardian and The Observer. Saraha was also a judge for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize, and the 2019 Sunday Times Short Story Prize. In April 2021, she was long listed for the Orwell Prize for Journalism.✉️  Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Marcus Aurelius wasn’t perfect.With so many responsibilities competing for his time and attention, he was guilty, as we all have been, of letting his good habits slide. The question is: What do we do when this happens?Today, Ryan discusses how Marcus kept his habits in check and how you can, too, as well as the Stoic idea that influenced his newest tattoo, which he got from Andy Pho. Andy is the owner of Upside Tattoo, and he opened a new shop in Hutto, TX in 2022. Follow Andy on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andypho/We’re launching Session 2 of the New Year New You Challenge on February 1st! Enroll now to secure your spot or gift it to a friend.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more, including the Premium Leather Edition of the Daily Stoic Journal.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
In one of the weirdest passages of Meditations, Marcus Aurelius notes with pride that he never laid a hand on any of his female slaves.Not cheating on your spouse, not sexually assaulting a captive person, these are hardly achievements worthy of being feted for. They are the bare minimum, you could argue, to be considered a good, moral, virtuous person. And yet, they are not nothing, especially back then, it’s worth taking a minute to consider. ---In today's Daily Stoic Journal reading, Ryan explores the Stoic idea of bettering oneself with small steps every day by reflecting on quotes from Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. ✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more, including the Premium Leather Edition of the Daily Stoic Journal.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Ryan presents the first of four excerpts from Josiah Osgood’s Uncommon Wrath: How Caesar and Cato’s Deadly Rivalry Destroyed the Roman Republic. Here, in chapter one, Josiah sets the stage for Rome’s great collapse by describing the world that Julius Caesar grew up in, how Cato the Younger’s upbringing put him at odds with Caesar, and the explosive events that escalated the tension between them.You can listen to Ryan’s recent conversation with Josiah here. ✉️  Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Ryan speaks with Molly Bloom about her book Molly's Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World, the crossroads moment that taught her to overcome challenges through mindfulness, the intoxicating and eye-opening effects of running poker games for the ultra-rich and famous, how hitting rock-bottom taught her that good character is something to be trained, and more.Molly Bloom is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and former Olympic class skier. After her competitive skiing career was derailed by injury, Molly became a bartender at the Viper Room in Los Angeles. She eventually started an event and catering company to host high-stakes poker tournaments, which attracted wealthy people, sports figures, and Hollywood celebrities. In 2013, she was sentenced as part of a $100 million money laundering and illegal sports gambling operation and served one year of probation with a $200,000 fine, and 200 hours of community service. Her story was turned into a 2017 film written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. Molly’s speaking and entrepreneurial work focuses on inspiring and educating people on how to become top performers.✉️  Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
It feels terrible to hear that someone is breaking up with you. Or that your retirement portfolio has dropped significantly in recent months. To find out that the company you’ve invested your entire career in is laying you off. That your father doesn’t accept the person you love or how you live your life.We want it to be otherwise, so we’re disappointed. It hurts, so we take it personally. In Meg Mason’s novel Sorrow and Bliss (listen to our great podcast episode with Meg), Martha Friel's mother, who had always been unhappy and resentful, goes into recovery and stops drinking. With time, she comes to realize that she had been living life as if it was happening to her. The adversity. The losses. The frustrations. The disappointments. In actuality, none of this happened to her. It was just happening. It just was.In today's Ask Daily Stoic, Ryan answers questions after a presentation about applying Stoic principles to modern life. His answers cover which books about or by Marcus Aurelius you should read, and the events in Ryan's life that brought him closer to Stoicism.✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
As Gandhi sat with a reporter one hot afternoon, he began experiencing some stomach pains. An attendant brought him a mudpack to place on his abdomen. “This puts me in touch with my future,” he said with a smile.He was joking about his mortality, just as the Stoics and all wise philosophers have. The reporter was a bit surprised. You are so young, he said. And that’s when Gandhi reminded him, as Marcus Aurelius did in Meditations, that age didn’t matter. Death was the common lot of all people he said, “some in a hundred years, but all sooner or later will die.”In today's Daily Stoic Journal excerpt, Ryan examines the power of choice through the Epictetus quote: "A podium and prison is each a place, one high and the other low. But in each place your freedom of choice is to be maintained if you so wish."✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
It is certainly true that people can do some awful things to each other. We hear of a trusted representative who is stealing from their clients. We hear of a man who has been leading a second life, even starting a second family. We hear of a woman who commits an unspeakable crime.These gross violations of morality and law do exist. They are things we would never do, we’d never even consider doing them. However, the truth is that most of the wrongs committed day to day are done by ordinary people in ordinary ways.✉️  Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Ryan speaks with Lauren Fleshman about her new book Good For a Girl: A Woman Running in a Man’s World, how the Stoics approached many of the gender equality issues that we still debate today, the unique power of sports to shatter perceptions and shift perspectives, and more. Lauren Fleshman is a retired world champion track and field athlete who competed in the 1500, 3000, 5000, and marathon events. Lauren graduated from Stanford as a 15-time All-American and five-time NCAA champion, and went on to become the U.S. 5000 meters champion in 2006 and 2010, as well as a top-ten finisher in the 2011 IAAF World Championships. After her running career, Lauren became Co-Founder and Brand Director of a gluten and dairy free energy bar company, Picky Bars, as well as the Co-Founder of Believe I Am, a business creating sport psychology tools for female athletes. She has also Co-Authored the Believe Training Journal as a resource for runners. Her work can be found at www.laurenfleshman.com. 🎧 For a limited time, you can purchase The Daily Stoic ebook for only $1.99 on Kindle✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail🏛 Check out the Daily Stoic Store for Stoic inspired products, signed books, and more.📱 Follow us: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, FacebookSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
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Comments (194)

Greville S

I thought I'd dip into the Daily Stoic this morning. I was unlucky. I was trying to work out if Cicero was being voiced by an e -reader or whether you had directed the actor to be as monotonic as he could manage. On that score he did very well. On the plus side, I will follow up on Cicero and the Stoic paradoxes. Thank you.

Jan 30th
Reply

Kevin Tookey

I question why Ryan omits race from his extensive list of privileges. It seems deliberate. Is he scared of alienating many of the people who keep his revenue stream flowing?

Jan 24th
Reply

Robert Hoffman

I find great value in the books written by Ryan Holliday, but this podcast makes me want to scream!! Seems to be well over 60% commercials, and if you binge listen to several you will hear the same commercials over and over. Love your work, Ryan, but I'll stick to the books.

Jan 22nd
Reply

Ethan Finlay

I stopped listening after he said that white guys are angry and entitled. I don't need advice from a bigot

Nov 28th
Reply

snsɐuɐ ƃuǝɥɔ

I love the Daily Stoic but this episode fid not resonate with me at all. It does feel like part of yhe message is being rich is bettet and not really what it means to be rich...

Nov 21st
Reply

Robert Hoffman

I generally like the ideas presented, but the tremendous number of commercials has become too much. Forget the podcast and read the books, much more enjoyable.

Nov 6th
Reply

Arman Seyfi

Very useful and thought revoking episode especially for those of us who fight for better governance here in Iran.

Nov 5th
Reply

Jeevan

Thanks for this Ryan!

Oct 20th
Reply (4)

Cornelius Edwards

joo mm 9 o . Minj.f o o c .i

Oct 4th
Reply

SPYDOR

Duplicate of same episode already released on 13th Sep 2022. 06:31 to skip ads & waffling.

Sep 20th
Reply

VIEW2

just found viator a day before I heard you mention it, a worthy spread!!

Aug 24th
Reply

Eric Dumke

it's a shame his reasons for hallowed courage doesn't seem to extend to liberty.

Aug 14th
Reply

SPYDOR

This is beautiful; thanks for sharing; could help a lot of people.

Jul 17th
Reply

Ali Raisi

Go bears

Jul 17th
Reply

Nadia

wow I really needed this thank you 😊

Jul 15th
Reply

Ali Raisi

Right

Jul 14th
Reply

Ali Raisi

Brett is the GOAT

Jul 9th
Reply

TInfinite

Ok

Jul 2nd
Reply

TInfinite

Let's try!

Jul 1st
Reply

TInfinite

interesting

Jun 30th
Reply
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