The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones
In Ryan Holidays lives of the stoics book, he mentions one stoic that we know very little about,
History does mention any of the good he did or said,
It just remembers him for the one act of slander he did and that’s how he will be remembered.
Marcus Aurelius once said –
You could leave life right, so remember that with all you say and do
Meaning any act could be your last.
That day your having an off one, and you snap at someone or make a bad call in the heat of the moment…
That one time could wipe out all the good you have ever done.
We’ve seen it countless times in the modern day too,
One tweet could cost somebody their career, their legacy.
If it’s not right dont do it, if it’s not true dont say it (Marcus Aurelius I think)
Many thousand years ago after a shipwreck Zeno found himself in Athens with no money
After attending a lecture in a bookstore about Socrates Zeno wanted to know where to find one of those ‘philosophers’
After studying under a philosopher Zeno started his own school which today we believe is the origins of stoicism
When Zeno passed away Cleanthes took over the school and then Chrysippus and so on,
Most of the new leaders brought something new and adapted the philosophy slightly
Some students left and started there own schools based on what they thought philosophy should be
Fast forward to today where we have the likes of William Irvine who in is book adapted Stoicism slightly to the modern day.
The point things aren’t supposed to stay the same, as time goes on, and life ticks by things change and we need to adapt to them.
Stop holding on to the past
Rome Day 1.
Mother – ‘Are you looking forward to it’
Me – ‘No not really’
Maybe it’s the stoic in me, but I try not to get excited about things before they happen because fortune can intervene
Driving to the airport listening to Oasis, I still wasn’t excited but just enjoyed the drive instead
I got to the airport a few hours early, got to security to find there was no queue… oh yeah were still in a pandemic
I made it through security in a recording breaking 5 minutes
Ok now my excitement peaked
Fast forward a couple of hours and I’m boarding the plane, there was no one sat besides me which is always a bonus and the flight was pleasant
Got some nice views of Roma before landing and heading for my private taxi,
I don’t really get anxious but the roads and the way people drive in Rome scared the hell out of me, everyone cuttings through each other. It reminded me of videos of Thailand or Indias traffic.
I got to my hotel to be disappointed that the picture don’t match the actual room, which happens more times than they dont.
I got my room now with the usual ‘What the fuck do I do now’
After half an hour of procasting I decided the Colosseum was my first point since I know my way around from there.
Well I got lost spent about 30 minute of Anxiety trying to cross an 8 lane road, I thought this is the way I’m going to go…
But no I made it across and 10,000 steps later I made it to the Colosseum
Found a restaurant directly across from it and asked for a table for 1 please
And a couple of Strawberry Daqouries (however its spelt)
Once they arrived the waiter snatched my phone, now I’m thinking what you doing man, but he does the camera signal so I start awkwardly posing for a picture
They were so cold I started shivering.
After an hour or I returned to my hotel to find it’s on a straight road so I dont know how I got lost in the first place.
My first night in Rome didn’t have the same wow effect it did back in August.
Probably because this time I’m alone and the roads were very overwhelming or simply the fact I’m by myself this time,
For so long you have dreaded what happens in a moment
And in another moment its gone and you breath and you think was that what I spent so much time dreading
And then as time moves forward there will be another moment we dread and the cycle continues
Yet most of the time what we dread is never as bad as we thought it would be and the bad things we do face well we handle them better than our imagination
Obviously fear and worrying have been ingrained in us for many thousands of years so to say dont worry is like telling someone to not hold their breath for too long
Breathing is natural and so is worrying and fear.
But there is ways we can reduce the amount of time we spend worrying as it is pretty unproductive
And that is to take action
Can you take action on the thing your worrying about
Yes > take action, then you wont have to worry about it anymore
No > take action on something you can do, it’ll take your mind off your worries and then at least you have done something and spend countless days worrying when there is nothing you can do.
We always suffer more in our heads than in reality (think that quote was seneca also)
What Stands in the way, becomes the way
Sometimes we get that obstacle, that effects your whole life for the rest of it
This obstacle could be like a bad chapter (see yesterday’s post)
Or it could just be another chapter in a great story
Recently I’ve been diagnosed with Asthma, Now I could let this hold me back and stop me from doing things and use it as an excuse
Or now that I know what I have, i can learn how to manage it and then excel, maybe not the way I would have liked but since it stands in the way
It has become the way
Obstacles are not dead ends
Unless you let them