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Here’s How to Give Thanks—Not Once a Year—but Every Day

The modern practice of this Thanksgiving holiday here in America is that we are supposed to take the time to think about what we’re grateful for. And the candidates are usually pretty obvious: We should be grateful for our families, for our health, that we live in a time of peace, for the good laid out in front of us. All the usual suspects. I agree,...

This Is Why Our Leaders Should Be Stoic

It was a dark time for the Republic.  Institutions had stopped working. Interminable foreign wars dragged on. Norms—the old way of doing things—seemed to have broken down. There had been election fixing and the passage of preposterous legislation. Corruption was endemic.  So when a certain popular politician reached out to a senator on the other side...

How to Beat Procrastination Based on Ancient Philosophy

People have been procrastinating for thousands of years. Just like you, they put things off, they delayed, they made excuses, they hoped deadlines would never come due. This caused them anxiety, it pissed their colleagues and families off, it created problems and most of all it wasted time. Twenty centuries ago, the Roman-era Stoic philosopher Seneca...

It’s Not About Intention, It’s About Action

It’d be wonderful if it were true.  If we could, by the power of our thoughts, shape the world around us.  If we could manifest the reality we wanted, if “like attracted like” in our lives, just as opposites attract in magnets.  Needless to say, this is not true. Actually, not “needless to say,” because the “Law of Attraction” is something that...

Should We Cancel the Stoics?

By most of what seems like the current criteria, the ancient Stoics are ripe targets for cancellation.  They were white. They were rich. They wrote about being “manly.” They even referred to foreigners as barbarians! Inexcusably, the philosophy at times argues for the now-heretical idea of accepting that certain parts of life—like other people’s opinions—may...

Dear Dad, Please Don’t Vote For Donald Trump This Time

Hey Dad, Our relationship is strained. It feels like it has been for a while. For the last four years, there has been an elephant in the room—I’d joke and call it an orange elephant, but I’m nervous that might end this earnest conversation before it even begins. Have I changed? I mean, yes, of course I have. I’ve gotten older. I’ve had two children....

This Thing Predicts Everything

Something went wrong for Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, despite three trips to the Finals and one championship.  Then, what could have been a great team fell apart in Boston. So far, Brooklyn has been a dud. One coach has already been driven away. Now the most recent, just hired, is already being set up to fail, with heavy handed assertions about who...

It’s the Little Moments That Make the Big Lessons

My new book Lives of the Stoics is out now! Small events—a single moment, a simple exchange, an unremarkable decision—are what change the world. On a fateful day late in the fourth century BCE, after a disastrous voyage on the Mediterranean, the Phoenician merchant Zeno washed up penniless in Athens. He could have despaired. Instead, he studied philosophy...

These 7 Lessons Will Make You Better

Marcus Aurelius‘ reign from 161 to 180 was defined by a pandemic (which originated in the distant east and quickly overwhelmed Rome’s institutions), civil unrest, interminable wars in the provinces, personal health issues, cultural decadence, income inequality, and so much else. As he would observe in Meditations, people have always been people, and...

It Costs What It Costs

When I first moved to New York, I had dinner with a friend who had lived there a long time. The thing about the city, he told me, is that everything is so expensive, it’s almost freeing. His apartment rented for half of what I would later buy an entire farm for. He was in the middle of planning a wedding in the city, too. In any sane environment, he...

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