This Episode: How to grow wiser as we grow older; how to be content when you go to sleep at night; what it means when pleasures grow stale; and a brilliant conceptualisation of the different stages of life that, if we use it, helps us to truly accept ourselves AND keep growing.
Do you feel the grip of time beginning to fasten around your body and mind? We often fear the ageing process, but it doesn’t help us or anyone else to do so.
Age doesn’t have to cause grief and difference; if we can grow wise and compassionate as we grow older, we can continue to better understand the people around us, whatever their generation
In fact, Seneca thought that growing old is a good thing, because the best pleasures are those we find at the end, as we reach the top of the ski-lift of growth and begin our descent.
We’re not so sure: do we really have to be old in years to be rich in experience?
Yet as our bodies fail, can we still enjoy life and want to go on? Dre breaks down the biological and neurological aspects, and his grand theory of why old people find it so difficult to enjoy life.
This week we hit at the seeming paradox at the heart of Stoicism – that if we are to accept things we cannot change, then how can we become true revolutionaries who refuse to accept the status quo and set about improving life for everyone?
What about our personal development, too? What does acceptance mean if we also want to grow?
Seneca provides a beautiful conceptualisation: what if we saw our lifespan as a series of concentric circles, growing outwards – the whole contains everything, but we’re always moving, expanding, building. We can’t erase and discard phases of our life that we’ve moved on from; instead, we must find ways to accept and integrate them, even if they’re traumatic. They lie within their own circle, contained with the greater whole.
We also take time to demolish (and then worry about) the idea of intellectual property, and discuss our growing oral hygiene concerns…
- Avoiding becoming a grumpy, bitter old person
- The secret of the ‘late 20s boost’
- When men should start taking testosterone
- Having yourself carted to mock funerals while eunuchs sing your praises
- Does dying free really count for anything?
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
- Ryan Holiday’s superb and accessible book on Stoicism: The Obstacle is the Way
- Tim Ferriss’s brilliant TED talk on ‘fear setting’ and Stoicism