I came across Stoic philosophy through a fascinating Ted Talk by Tim Ferris and have been smashed by how relevant this is for anybody in their financial wealth journey. I believe that it has everything and more that could be incredibly useful in developing the individual in honing their ability and character for what they want to achieve….. in anything and not just in one aspect of life. I wish I have come across this earlier.
There are 3 renowned leaders in Stoicism: Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. Go check them out in the full list but here are just a few choice ones. (I I personally find the ones by Aurelius to be my favourite.) By the way, give me a shout out in the comments if you find any good ones whether it applies to investing, trading, financial management or life in general. I’ll be happy to include them in.
Begin the morning by saying to yourself, I shall meet with the busybody, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. … I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him.
A limit of time is fixed for you, which if you do not use for clearing away the clouds from your mind, it will go and you will go, and it will never return.
You will give yourself relief, if you do every act of your life as if it were the last.
Failure to observe what is in the mind of another has seldom made a man unhappy; but those who do not observe the movements of their own minds must of necessity be unhappy.
Since it is possible that you might depart from life this very moment, regulate every act and thought accordingly.
Death and life, honor and dishonor, pain and pleasure — all these things equally happen to good men and bad, being things which make us neither better nor worse. Therefore they are neither good nor evil.
How quickly things disappear: in the universe the bodies themselves, but in time the memory of them.
The present is the only thing of which a man can be deprived, if it is true that this is the only thing which he has, and that a man cannot lose something he does not already possess.
Even the smallest thing should be done with reference to an end.
What decides whether a sum of money is good? The money is not going to tell you; it must be the faculty that makes use of such impressions – reason.
Discourses I, 1.5
Being attached to many things, we are weighed down and dragged along with them.
Discourses I, 1.15
What should we do then? Make the best use of what is in our power, and treat the rest in accordance with its nature.
Discourses I, 1.17
What should we have ready at hand in a situation like this? The knowledge of what is mine and what is not mine, what I can and cannot do.
Discourses I, 1.21
If from the moment they get up in the morning they adhere to their ideals, eating and bathing like a person of integrity, putting their principles into practice in every situation they face – the way a runner does when he applies the principles of running, or a singer those of musicianship – that is where you will see true progress embodied, and find someone who has not wasted their time making the journey here from home.
Discourses I, 4.20
Death and pain are not frightening, it’s the fear of pain and death we need to fear. Which is why we praise the poet who wrote, ‘Death is not fearful, but dying like a coward is.’
Discourses II, 1.13
Which, I suppose, is why Stoics put logic at the head of our curriculum – for the same reason that, before a quantity of grain can be measured, we must settle on a standard of measurement.
Discourses I, 17.6
When someone is properly grounded in life, they shouldn’t have to look outside themselves for approval.
Discourses I, 21.1
Who exactly are these people that you want to be admired by? Aren’t they the same people you are in the habit of calling crazy? And is this your life ambition, then – to win the approval of lunatics?
Discourses I, 21.4
There’s no difference between the one and the other – you didn’t exist and you won’t exist – you’ve got no concern with either period.
As it is with a play, so it is with life – what matters is not how long the acting lasts, but how good it is. It is not important at what point you stop. Stop wherever you will – only make sure that you round it off with a good ending.
There are times when even to live is an act of bravery.
So there is the comforting thing about extremities of pain: if you feel it too much you are bound to stop feeling it.
The love of power or money or luxurious living are not the only things which are guided by popular thinking. We take our cue from people’s thinking even in the way we feel pain.
Another thing which will help you is to turn your mind to other thoughts and that way get away from your suffering. Call to mind things which you have done that have been upright or courageous; run over in your mind the finest parts you have played.
‘But my illness has taken me away from my duties and won’t allow me to achieve anything.’ It is your body, not your mind as well, that is in the grip of ill health.
So I look for the best and am prepared for the opposite.
Others have been plundered, indiscriminately, set upon, betrayed, beaten up, attacked with poison or with calumny – mention anything you like, it has happened to plenty of people.
Every day as it comes should be welcomed and reduced forthwith into our own possession as if it were the finest day imaginable. What flies past has to be seized at.
My advice is really this: what we hear the philosophers saying and what we find in their writings should be applied in our pursuit of the happy life. We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching, and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application – not far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech – and learn them so well that words become works.