Thoughts

Every day a little better

The knock against Seneca, even in his own time, was that he was a hypocrite. For a Stoic, he was obscenely rich. For a philosopher, he was uncomfortably close to the center of power and guilty of all the compromises such a position entails. Seneca was aware of this contradiction too. He even wrote about it. “Why …

One new skill

It’s remarkable how much your life can change when you add one new skill to your arsenal. Many years ago, I was working on a project at my day job and I needed to deal with a number of tables of data. Messy data that needed a fair bit of cleaning up to be useful. Too …

Pain as the teacher

Throughout his bestselling book, Principles, Ray Dalio, the founder of the largest hedge fund in the world, sounds very much like a Stoic without knowingly stating it. As he writes in one passage, he learned to see pain as a teacher—it almost became a game to him to figure out the hidden lessons in each painful …

Week in review for you.

If you’re serious about getting things done in your life, then you need to have a regular weekly habit of reviewing the previous week and planning the next one. That sounds fun, doesn’t it? It’s right up there with changing the oil and cleaning the toilet on most people’s list of Things To Avoid Doing Pretty …

Poverty is not a bad thing.

It was the Athenian statesman, Pericles, who would say that there was no shame in poverty. Only in not doing something about it. The Stoics would probably agree, though they might word it differently. They’d say, there’s no shame in poverty, only in not doing something with it. Seneca famously said that poverty was good for at least one …