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Showing posts from May, 2019

Books

“Books are made to be broken in. They are quarries of gems to be mined, wells to be drawn from, sturdy posts to lean on, shoulders to cry on. Just as we never step in the same river twice, to paraphrase Marcus and Heraclitus, we never read a book the same way. That’s why we read and re-read, note and discuss, write and flag."

—from Daily Stoic's Tuesday email, "This Is How Reading Is Supposed to Go"

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

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"For this reason, I cannot call the man industrious, if I hear this only, that he reads and writes; and even if a man adds that he reads all night, I cannot say so, if he knows not to what he should refer his reading. For neither do you say that a man is industrious if he keeps awake for a girl; nor do I. But if he does it for reputation, I say that he is a lover of reputation. And if he does it for money, I say that he is a lover of money, not a lover of labor; and if he does it through the love of learning, I say that he is a lover of learning. But if he refers his labor to his own ruling power, that he may keep it in a state conformable to nature and pass his life in that state, then only do I say that he is industrious."
(Epictetus, Discourses, 4.4.41.43)

Work Therapy

"Work nourishes noble minds." 
(Seneca, Moral Letters, 31.5)
God worked six days then rested, but not because He ran out of energy or grew tired. God is always at work. God rested to show us that work is good and rest is good. Rest is not a requirement, but you need it. God blessed one day out of seven for rest, a time to separate from "the grind" and reconnect with ourselves, with others, and with Him. 
Man does not live by rest alone, for you get restless, bored, doughy, irritable, claustrophobic, frustrated. This is not how you are meant to live. Be refreshed with rest, but be fed, nurture and grow with work. Contribute to the world in which you live and feel better by it.

Decision-making

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"The first thing to do--don't get worked up. For everything happens according to the nature of all things, and in a short time you'll be nobody and nowhere, even as the great emperors Hadrian and Augustus are now. The next thing to do--consider carefully the task at hand for what it is, while remembering that your purpose is to be a good human being. Get straight to doing what nature requires of you, and speak as you see most just and fitting--with kindness, modesty, and sincerity."

(Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.5)

Join The Ranks

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Carpe Diem

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Let us therefore set out wholeheartedly, leaving aside our many distractions and exert ourselves in this single purpose, before we realize too late the swift and unstoppable flight of time and are left behind. As each day arises, welcome it as the very best day of all, and make it your own possession. We must seize what flees.”   (--Seneca, Moral Letters, 108)

Make life extraordinary.

How To Have A Good Day

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"Where is good? In our reasoned choices. Where is evil? In our reasoned choices. Where is that which is neither good or evil? In the things outside of our own reasoned choice." (Epictetus, Discourses 2.16)

"God laid down this law, saying: if you want some good, get if from yourself." (Epictetus, Discourses 1.29)

Be good. Do good.

Make a good day for yourself. You'll know you've done well when you've made a day good for someone else, too.


Righteousness is Beautiful

“Then what makes a beautiful human being? Isn’t it the presence of human excellence? Young friend, if you wish to be beautiful, then work diligently at human excellence. And what is that? Observe those whom you praise without prejudice. The just or the unjust? The just. The even-tempered or the undisciplined? The even-tempered. The self-controlled or the uncontrolled? The self-controlled. In making yourself that kind of person, you will become beautiful—but to the extent you ignore these qualities, you’ll be ugly, even if you use every trick in the book to appear beautiful.”

— Epictetus, Discourses, 3.1.6b–9

The Better Man

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You Are The Project

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(from The Daily Stoic)