All You Need To Know About Stoicism In One Table
In a very personal TED talk, Tim Ferriss shares the story of his almost-suicide. Struggling with depression more than the average person, he says he’s spent a great deal of his life finding ways to improve emotional resilience.
The best tool he’s found so far also happens to be the source of his best business decisions, he claims: Stoicism.
Right after, he admits: “That sounds…boring.”
How could something that helped one person both prevent the worst kind of death and make millions be boring?
Right Time, Wrong Dress
I chose Latin as my second foreign language in high school when I was 13 years old. It turned out to be a great choice, not just because Latin holds the roots of many European languages, but because of the history education you get alongside those.
In a German book with the translated title Latin Is Dead, Long Live Latin!, author Wilfried Stroh notes:
“Let’s not forget Cicero, the self-made man who turned from humble beginnings to Consul of the Roman Republic. Understanding him and other ancient philosophers, like Lucretius, Seneca, Augustus, and of course poets and historians, that’s why we study Latin, not in order to decorate ourselves with fancy quotes.”
Isn’t this the exact thing we’re trying to do today? Some of the most popular work on Medium is dedicated to understanding men like Ray Dalio, Elon Musk, and Charlie Munger. Rome’s emperors, poets and philosophers are our modern day billionaires, hedge fund managers and writing superstars.
We want to decode their way of thinking, their philosophy, for our success. It is no coincidence, then, that many of the people who are building the future use the same, ‘old’ thinking that worked for our ancestors. Their brain software is Stoicism.
However, because of its origins, we don’t look at it that way. Since it’s hidden behind the intimidating curtains of education and history, most of us don’t look at it at all. We hear the right buzz words, like success, wisdom and living a good life, but then words like virtue…