A letter that hammers home the need to put your WHY first – to find your mindset and your outlook before you do anything else; on avoiding becoming the slave to money in all that you do; the swamp of accumulating possessions; how to do what you truly want now, not later; and how to make sense of Stoicism not as a prescription, but as guidelines for what to emphasise in life.
Do you dream of getting rich? Would all your problems magically disappear? Well, they wouldn’t. Not unless you consciously know why you want to get rich.
Your mindset determines how you see and interpret your world and your engagement with it; this is true in wealth as much as in poverty, and in this episode we explore how to cultivate a mind that can endure and thrive in all conditions.
First off, are you pursuing your Why? If not, there’s huge danger involved in devoting too much time to building someone else’s dream. Where’s the time for you to grow and develop for your own sake?
Already found your Why – what Joseph Campbell calls ‘your Bliss’? Great. But we’ve got some bad news for you: it’s still going to hurt.
We go well beyond the usual feel-good soundbites about following your passion to outline just how difficult and emotionally draining this can be. It might be worth it, but we too easily gloss over the pain involved, so the shock of it when we feel it can send us scurrying back into our life-sapping 9-to-5s before we even get started.
The Stoics advise us not to care about material wealth. But this can come in different forms: Steve Jobs is a prime example of someone who didn’t care about money because he thought himself invincible anyway. As Dre explains, that helped him to succeed… but also got him killed.
Seneca advises us to live only with the bare necessities (prompting us to relive our Jungle Book days), but the aim isn’t to starve ourselves without cause. Learn what you’re capable of and test your limits, but don’t pretend that’s going to be pleasant or worth pursuing for its own sake. The point is how it can help us live a good and fulfilling life.
Dre also gets personal and shares his story of a recent business deal gone horribly wrong … and how he nearly became trapped waiting for that fabled but fatal ‘perfect moment’ to escape. Oh, and he promptly unleashes Quantum Stoicism on us, before Jon puts him safely back in his (Schrödinger’s) box.
- Why Seneca thinks you shouldn’t be middle class
- How to escape your dead-end job
- Burning your house down to find out who you are
- The real source of generosity: networks
- Why stealing entertainment is perfectly justified
- Reaching godhood – is that the next level for humanity?
- ‘Fuck you – pay me!’
Find Out More:
- Like us on Facebook to ask for the Audible download code for Seneca’s letters
- The full text for free on WikiSource
- Check out our brand new Instagram!
- Ryan Holiday’s superb and accessible book on Stoicism: The Obstacle is the Way
- The brilliant Daily Stoic Journal, which we’ve both started working with
- The Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson
- How to game TripAdvisor to become the #1 restaurant in London for a place that doesn’t exist