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Introduction to Stoicism
So, something I have been meaning to write, create, or do is some sort of book, e-book, pamphlet, or introductory primer to Stoicism. I really think that it is probably one of the most useful philosophical models to live a normal, everyday real life. Yet, I haven’t really found a good instructional guide on it, especially when I was self-teaching it to myself.
What does Stoicism mean?
Stoicism, stoic, the stoa in ancient Greece — essentially, the stoa was like some sort of portico, patio, pillar, outside, essentially a spot where guys would just hang out, talk shop, talk philosophy, etc.
I think about the show Hey Arnold, which I was raised with… The notion of “stoop kid”, the notion of a stoop is that in a lot of cities, especially on the east coast in New York, you have this little stoop or porch, stairs that go outside your front door… And you could just hang out there, engage in social and neighborhood life, etc.
The new stoa?
One of my happiest moments was when I was living in Providence, Rhode Island, and then COVID-19 hit. Everything was closed, besides the park. I could still go to the park, hang out, work out, do chin-ups, learn how to do muscle-ups, more bodyweight calisthenics stuff, and also… I had a lot of fun with this “rock toss” challenge and workout… in the middle of the park was a huge-ass rock, a huge-ass stone, and every single day I would go there, pick it up, and then eventually work out with it; throwing it around for fun, doing overhead presses with it, clean and jerks, squats, and eventually I would just throw it around for fun. Funny enough, it might have been the most fit I was in my life… This was true “functional” fitness.
Anyway, the reason why that period of COVID-19 was so good is that it was the middle of a beautiful Providence summer, so nice and bright and warm and lovely… And one of the good things was going to the park was like an open forum, a new anatheum for a lot of really cool guys to come, hang out, talk shop, go topless and shirtless, work out and hang out.
I met some really interesting people during that period of time. I met some guys who are really cool. For example, one guy I met was in the US military Navy, I think he was training to be a Navy Seal or Delta Force or something. Another guy in some sort of ROTC training, another cool guy from the hood, and also I would say I probably met half a dozen friendly drug dealers there. and of course, a lot of people who believed in conspiracy theories; really friendly, a little weird, but overall good guys.
Anyway, one of the biggest benefits of hanging out at that outdoor park, open air, nothing but green grass, the beautiful sun, and the fitness equipment was that I think having this sort of open-air environment is actually very conducive to socializing, thinking and thought, and pro-social behavior. My theory about a lot of modern-day antisocial behavior has to do with the structures which enclose us. For example, almost universally most guys at the gym are extremely antisocial. Why? My theory is that because most gyms have closed, cramped, narrow ceilings, and do not have access to natural light or outside.
The only good gym I went to which was interesting was the Gold’s Gym in Venice, which has this really big outdoor workout area. I think this is much more natural and more fun and better; to be able to work out directly outside outdoors, with your shirt off.
Who is this philosophy for?
Stoics, Stoicism — it was originally, I think, codified by this guy named Zeno, and over time he picked up some followers. Essentially, the whole thing happened organically; Zeno would first share his thinking on philosophy, ethics, and pragmatic ways to deal with other people and the downsides of life, he built a following, and then his followers would propagate the thoughts and start their own little schools of thought, their own little Stoic clubs.
What is real Stoicism?
What I like about Stoicism is how loose it is. It is kind of like Zen, or Taoism… It is not really qualified as a religion, or a strict moral order. In fact, a lot of the ancient Stoics would meditate on random stuff like cosmology, natural sciences like Seneca, how volcanoes worked or whatever. I think nowadays in today’s world, we focus primarily on the pragmatic side; how to deal with fear, uncertainty, downsides, etc.
So how did I discover Stoicism?
I think I might’ve first learned about Stoicism from Nassim Taleb and his Anti-Fragile book. I was curious, and my curiosity went deep. To quote Nassim Taleb and the Venetian saying, “the ocean goes deeper, the deeper you wade into it.”
I literally consumed every single book I could find on Stoicism, even the obscure ones. Funny enough, a lot of the Stoic thinkers tried to claim other philosophers as being Stoic, like Seneca did with Diogenes the Cynic.
Cynic, cynicism, actually comes from the word canine, the dog. Diogenes was considered the “dog” philosopher, first used as a pejorative, but ultimately Diogenes reappropriated that title for fun! He saw dogs as tough, almost like wild wolves, rather than seeing them as a negative thing.
Even Achilles, when he was raging against King Agamemnon, called him “dog-faced” as a heaping insult.
Who is worth reading?
First, Seneca. Seneca the Younger, his dad was called Seneca the Elder.
In fact, this is such a big deal because Cindy and I named our first son, Seneca, directly after the Stoic philosopher. This is true in the game; if you name your kid after your favorite philosopher, certainly it is a sign that you really liked that philosopher or found them impactful.
The reason why I really like Seneca the Stoic philosopher is because he had real connections to real reality. What that means is he wasn’t just on the sidelines; he actually existed in the real world, engaged in real politics, was even an advisor to the Emperor Nero, the bad one, who eventually low-key coerced Seneca to commit suicide, in a manly, dignified manner.
I think this was because maybe… There was actually a plan to overthrow Nero, and essentially Nero found out.
What makes Seneca so good?
I really like Seneca because his writing is accessible, practical and pragmatic, and interesting.
A lot of thinkers tend to lack connections to real reality. I have no tolerance for boring philosophers who talk about metaphysics, which are things that are not physical. Like thoughts, ideas, the universe, electricity and energy, strange phenomena, and conspiracy theories on ghosts, “energy”, whatever.
For a long time, I would hear the term “metaphysics” being thrown around, and I had zero idea what it actually meant.
Meta– on top of, or nestled within.
Physics — the physical, physical phenomena like gravity, first principles.
The reason why metaphysics philosophers tend to be a bunch of losers is that they are all weak, anemic, nerds, or geeks, or weaklings who seem to have some sort of physiological degeneracy, which encourages them to opine or talk or think about impractical things, superficial things.
Personally speaking, I think philosophy must be practical.
Practical, praxis, practice — to do!
The Spartan, Zen Stoic, Demigod Ideal
I have a very funny ideal; the general idea is that your body looks like a demigod, and your physiology is out of control. The general idea is one must be tall, strong, highly muscular, low body fat percentage, I’m not exactly sure what my body fat percentage is, but maybe it’s around 5%.
Also, physical fitness is critical to any Stoic. My ideal is to walk 50 miles a day, eat 20 pounds of meat like Milo of Croton a day. And also, abstinence from silly things like media, alcohol, drugs, marijuana, etc.
Trust no thinker who does drugs!
Even our best friend Nietzsche said that coffee was bad because it would make people dark and gloomy. He encouraged 100% cocoa powder instead.
You let the drugs talk. I let my soul talk, ayy! – Kendrick Lamar
First, look at a picture or a portrait or a full-body shot, ideally topless, of the artist, philosopher, thinker, or individual… Then judge their thoughts later.
Why? My theory is this: the thoughts of an individual are hugely affected by their bodily physiology.
For example, an extreme example: if somebody is locked inside a solitary confinement cell, and not permitted to go outside for years, but he had a pen pad and would jot down some thoughts… What would be the quality of these thoughts? Certainly dark and morose.
Why does Stoicism matter?
In today’s world, why does it matter, what is the significance of Stoicism, etc.?
First and foremost, I think we are living in troubling times, especially with the advent of modern-day Internet-based media and advertising. I think 99% of what is propagated on the Internet is fear-mongering, and what is hate? Hate is just fear.
The first thought on Stoicism is that it is just fear conquering. What I discovered about street photography
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is that 99% of it is conquering your fears. Conquering your fears of upsetting other people, getting into some sort of verbal or physical altercation, etc. In fact, my bread-and-butter workshop is my Conquering Your Fears in Street Photography workshop, the workshop which is still interesting to me even after a decade.
Why is this so important? I think it is rooted in almost everything; conquering your fears is rooted in entrepreneurship, innovation, risk-taking, and real life.
Even my speculation in crypto. 99.9% of crypto speculation is just balls. Having the balls to make big bets, and when things go south, knowing how to master your emotions.
A simple exercise I have is this: just imagine it will all go down to zero.
It was useful because when I was in college, my sophomore year, I got really into trading stocks, and I eventually lost my whole life savings, maybe around $3,500 USD, in some bad penny stock which I actually misread the financials… The whole time I thought the company was making a profit, but actually it was taking a loss. I actually didn’t know that if profits are written in parentheses, it means a loss.
It was funny because my initial start as an investor was back in high school, I bought some Adobe stock when I was a high school junior, and also some mutual funds, which both went up after about 4-5 years.
Also, I remember in elementary school computer class, when I was in the sixth grade in Bayside Queens, there was some sort of stock simulation trading game, and actually, it was funny… The kids who made the most money and were the most successful just put 100% of everything into Apple, note this is when we were only 12 years old, and I was born in 1988.
Stoicism and Capitalism?
Funny enough, it seems that Stoicism actually plays well with capitalism. Why? According to modern-day capitalist thinking, the best way to approach life is to be objective, strong, stoic, emotional, logical, and rational.
Also, with modern-day media, there is so much fear-mongering in the news, about some sort of global Armageddon, global financial ruin, etc.
Therefore, Stoicism as a mindset is useful to think and position your mind in such a way that you could consider that life is all upside, no downside.
In fact, if I could summarize it in one sentence, it is that life is all upside, no downside. Inspired by Nassim Taleb.
Sex and Stoicism
So, is Stoicism useful to you if you’re a man or a woman? Does it matter?
The good thing is I think it could apply to both sexes. Conquering sexism and societal pressures is useful if you’re a woman, and also if you’re a man.
Also, gender is social. A lot of the expectations set on us by society are socialized and gamed to a certain degree.
First, we’ve got to unchain ourselves from modern-day ethics and morality. I believe that all modern-day philosophy, thinking, ethics, and religion are bad.
For example, the notion of turning the other cheek is a patently bad one. Why did Jesus turn his cheek? It is because he lacked an army.
Also, philosophically I think we should put no trust in Socrates. A thought which has puzzled me for a long time was this: “Why was Socrates so ugly?”
I think Socrates was a degenerate, and he lacked any sort of real power. Therefore, he turned logic and rationality into his terrorizing weapon. Back in the day, you didn’t need logic or rationality to have things your way; you simply were able to dictate that which you wanted to posit because you had a military force behind you. Just think about Machiavelli and Il Principe– the reality of being a mercurial prince, king, and military leader is hard, Stoic, “immoral”. But ultimately it all comes down to war, conquest, the military.
In fact, I believe that all should have the body and strength of some sort of super soldier. Essentially look like all the guys from the movie 300, this is our ideal.
What has helped me
- Allow yourself to be a bad, immoral, “evil” person. When you decide to adopt an unorthodox way of thinking and living, you’re going to rub some feathers the wrong way.
- For good inspirations, I think the best Stoic writers and thinkers include Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and also the humor of the Cynic philosopher Diogenes. I would even posit the idea that one could consider Alexander the Great as a Stoic. Why? When you’re trying to create an empire, and you always have your life on
the line, certainly this takes a Stoic mindset. Also, let us think and consider that Alexander the Great had a copy of the Iliad by his bedside; it was the only book he traveled with during his military tours.
- Imagine the worst possible case scenario, and backtrack: apparently even Nassim Taleb would do this when he was a trader; every single day when he would go to his trading desk, he would assume that his investments would all go to zero, and if that wasn’t the case every single day, it was just upside.
- Live like a poor person: the notion of “debasing” the coin or the currency is the general idea that you are not a coward in regards to money. The best way to think about money is like a social tool; I think money is actually just codified labor. If you want people to clean bathrooms, run the cashiers’ stand, you have to promise them money. Even Seneca said the upsides of simulated poverty; essentially living like a poor person, or even a homeless person when you don’t need to… Is the ultimate position to be in. Why? True spirit and soul; as a philosopher, thinker, writer, or whatever… You cannot be “canceled”, because there is nothing to cancel. As long as you could pay your rent, buy meat at Costco, and publish your thoughts to your own self-hosted website blog, and pay your server fee, you have 100% freedom. And also, still… America is the best place to be because there is true freedom of speech and expression. You don’t want to be a trillionaire but not be able to say what’s really on your mind. And I think this is the big issue with entertainers, actors, media people… As long as you’re signed to a contract, you don’t run your own production company, or you’re still a slave to money… You’re not really going to say what’s really on your mind. Why is it that The Rock cannot say anything bad about China or Tibet? Because he is still enslaved by the media corporation. “New Slaves” by Kanye West.
The fun thing about Stoicism is that you could just make it up as you go, devise your own strategies and whatever.
“Fucking c’est la vie!” My favorite Kanye West line.
Essentially the general idea is that in life, one should not take things too seriously. Laughter is golden, I forget the philosopher who was called the laughing philosopher; better to laugh about the follies of human beings rather than to be dark and morose about it.
Also, thoughts from the Odyssey; if you look far enough into the future, everything becomes comedic and hilarious.
So when you’re in some sort of bad situation, just think to yourself “perhaps one day, 20 or 30 years from now… I will look back at this and just laugh!” It will just be humorous.
Problems in modern-day life:
- Too much time spent indoors, not enough time out in the sun. Perhaps it is better to be outside all day, and joyful, even with the risk of getting skin cancer or whatever… Rather than to be indoors, scared, weak, and anemic.
- Get ChatGPT, the paid premium one. And use the image generation AI art tool DALL-E. People pay therapists to just speak their mind and get some sort of sounding board. I actually think it’s much better to chat with AI instead; because AI will not judge you, and ultimately, what is a therapist anyways? A therapist is just a mirror, a sounding board for you to verbalize and flush out your thoughts. Often when we talk about our problems, 90% of the issues go away because once we verbalize it, we feel much better about ourselves.
- Not enough walking: I have never met anybody who walks 30,000 steps a day and is depressed. Even my friend Jimmy, who works as a US postal officer, he walks around 30,000 steps a day and is always bright, cheery, and jovial. I think this is also where people who hike a lot or walk a lot in nature are so happy; when you’re able to walk around a lot, and Zen out… You just feel much better. My simple suggestion is when you go on a hike or a walk in nature or even in the city… Leave your phone at home, or locked inside your glove compartment, and don’t bring any headphones or speakers or Apple watches or whatever. Just bring along your camera, and enjoy.
Real Stoics Don’t Call Themselves Stoics?
A funny thing I have learned is that when you call something something, it isn’t that.
For example, if someone calls something a “luxury car”, it ain’t. For example, a true modern-day luxury car is maybe a Tesla, but Tesla never calls itself a luxury car.
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Also, the ultimate luxury technology company is probably Apple… But Apple is very intelligent in not calling themselves a luxury brand.
In some ways, we can think and consider Stoicism as our new luxury. In fact, having luxury, luxury of mind and soul… And luxury of freedom of speech, isn’t this the ultimate luxury? Similarly speaking, when people call themselves “influencers”, they are not influencers.
Stoicism as a Technique and Tool, Not the End
Ultimately, I think we should think of Stoicism just like having another tool inside our toolkit. For example, if you’re a chef, you’re going to have different knives for different purposes. If you’re going to cut a big piece of meat, you probably want a big-ass meat cutting knife, not something you would use to crack a walnut with.
I think the problem is when some people get too into Stoicism, they think that everything needs to be consistent, and must fit into this nice little neat box of what is considered “Stoicism”. This is a bad line of thinking… Let us consider that Marcus Aurelius never even mentioned Stoicism in his writings, his collection of thoughts, which we modernly call the Meditations… Was just essentially his personal diary, to help him conquer his own personal fears and thoughts, I don’t think he ever intended it to be published publicly. I think he just wrote it to himself as self-therapy. And I think the only Stoic philosopher he even mentions is maybe Epictetus.
The Future of Stoicism?
For myself, I just come out with certain thoughts and techniques because it helps me, and when I find these tricks or techniques or secret hacks or cheat codes… My passion is to simply share it with others.
And ultimately, things are ever in flux and evolving and changing and adapting.
For example, I’ve discovered the quality of my thinking is different when I am in Culver City, Los Angeles, compared to being in the boring suburbs of Orange County.
Also, depending on my social environments… My Stoic thoughts are different when I am in a gym, versus just working out by myself in my parking spot in the back of my apartment.
Also, the quality of my thoughts is different when living with family members or other people versus just living with myself, Cindy, and Seneca.
Stoicism is All About Living with Other People
Assuming you’re not growing your own vegetables and living in the middle of nowhere… You probably have some interaction with other human beings. As long as you have an iPhone, an Android phone, a smartphone, a 4G or 5G Internet connection, Wi-Fi, a laptop, have to buy groceries somewhere… You’re still going to have to interact with other human beings.
And this is good. There is no other greater joy than other human beings.
In fact, modern-day society is strange because in some ways, the ethos is to be antisocial and to be cowardly. But in fact, the best way to think about things is that real life is interaction with other human beings, and social conquest. One can imagine a lot of modern-day entrepreneurship as simply a big dick swinging contest. He who is the most masculine, confident, tall, strong, and stoic shall win.
Assume that everyone is mentally insane: have you ever been out in public, and seen some sort of crackhead or strange homeless person who acts radically, smells terrible, and is obviously mentally ill? Do you hate them for it? When they say something weird to you… Do you take it personally? No. Why? They are crazy. Perhaps we should just adopt this Stoic mindset towards other people; some people are actually physiologically ill, mentally unwell… Don’t trust the opinion of nobody.
A lot of people are trying to actually deal with their own inner demons: for example, becoming the successful photographer and street photographer I am today… I’ve dealt with some individuals who would say anonymous bad things about me, and later I found out that their mom just died or something. I cannot imagine what it feels like losing a mother… Therefore, if somebody spews some hate on me because something bad happened to them, I’m not going to take it personally.
Self-flagellation: I think a lot of people who are sick, mentally or physiologically… Essentially, the way that they deal with other people or themselves is some sort of metaphorical self-flagellation.
For example… you know those strange individuals who have the whip and whip themselves, and inflict pain on themselves? I think some people do this metaphorically to themselves and others.
You just want to stay away from them.
Why So Scared?
My personal theory on fear is that a lot of it is tied to morality and ethics. I think the general idea is not necessarily that we are afraid of anything… I think the true fear is that we’re afraid that we are some sort
of bad, evil, unethical, immoral person.
For example, in street photography, the general ethical thought is that it is immoral to take a photo of somebody without their permission, because there is some sort of inherent evil behind it. Is this true? No. Taking photos is not really a big deal.
Why Do People Make Such a Big Deal Out of Small Things?
I think it is because some people are just overly sensitive, which once again comes from some sort of physiological weakness.
For example, if you’re a weightlifter who could lift 1000 pounds, assuming you’re not taking any steroids or anything… Will small things bother you? No. But let us assume that you are a skinny-fat man, all you do is drink alcohol and smoke marijuana and watch Netflix, and you spend too much time on Reddit… You are 40% body fat, and have never lifted in your life. And also, your testosterone is low, and you never go outside. Certainly, the quality of your thoughts is going to be different than if you’re a happy guy monster, lifting weights outside in the direct sun, laughing, and having fun.
Weather and Mood
Probably one of my worst experiences was this jarring transition; I was super happy, insanely happy being in Vietnam in 2017; with the beautiful weather, the beautiful light, the happy people, the great amenities, etc.… And then that winter Cindy and I went to Europe, in Marseille, Berlin, Prague, and maybe London… Seriously the worst winter of my life. Why? I wonder if so much miserable feelings and thoughts simply come from the darkness and lack of light. A lot of Europe is actually quite miserable; dark, unhygienic, morose.
Even Nietzsche had a thought about Schopenhauer; how much of these emo European philosophers came from the fact that they were just complaining about the cold weather in Germany, etc.?
For myself, my ideal weather is Southeast Asia; I love being in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc. In the states, am I the only one who loves living in Los Angeles? Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar said that LA was the best for women, weed, and weather… I would definitely say the biggest upside of living in Los Angeles is the light, the sunlight. It actually does get quite cold here, but usually most reliably even in December during the winter time, the sun will always come up. As long as there is bright sunny light, I will be happy. And I think maybe for myself, considering that I am a photographer, and photography means painting with light… Light for me is critical.
I also wonder how much of it is a physiological thing and a genetic trait; for example, I could even recall being a young child, and my mom telling me that the most critical thing in finding a home or an apartment was light and natural light. Even now… 90% of my happiness comes from being able to have access to natural light, ideally floor-to-ceiling windows facing directly the sun, having some sort of modern temperature-regulated apartment and home… Even living in our tiny studio, minimalistic luxury apartment in Providence, Rhode Island, where it was always 75° warm and cozy, and not frigid, damp, cold, and dark, and humid… I was always good. But moving to an older house, where it always felt damp and cold… This literally lowered my happiness by 1000%.
Therefore, if you’re feeling miserable, sad, or whatever… I say spend three months living in Hanoi or Saigon in Vietnam, or go to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I wonder if 90% of people’s misery is simply due to the weather.
“Better to be a gay monster than a sentimental bore!” – Fernando Galliani, via Nietzsche
My Stoic ideal is somebody who is happy, gay, smiling, no headphones or AirPods on, no sunglasses on, no hat, no facial hair, no baggy oversized clothing, no tint in their car. Somebody who makes great eye contact, laughs, stands up upright, jokes, and fools around. Like an overgrown child.
Also, lift weights at least once every day, ideally in the direct sun. Just buy some weightlifting equipment on Titan.fitness, I like the farmer’s carry handles, the Olympic ball dumbbell, and also the Texas power squat bar. Just buy some cheap weights, and or buy a heavy 400-pound sandbag, and just have fun throwing it around.
True Stoics are Masculine
A true Stoic should look something like Hercules or Achilles. Or like Eric Kim; I have the aesthetic and the physique of Brad Pitt in Fight Club, except with a lot more muscle. Like my friend Soren says, the Adonis physique and proportions.
A Real Stoic is Sexy
I think a real Stoic is sexy, happy, and fun. Who doesn’t take life too seriously; and
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and think of everything like a fun game. A real Stoic would be joyful and cheery like a three-year-old child without any adulteration from the outside world.
Why Do Adults Become So Dark and Morose?
I don’t like talking with or hanging out with adults; they’re uninteresting.
At what point or age do people become so emo?
Typically, high schoolers are very optimistic. Even college students. But I think at least in maybe college and high school nowadays… The bad trend is towards “over concern”, about the world, the planet, ethics, animals, etc.
I find a lot of this to be superficial, performative, and uncritical. I think “animal rights”, “saving the planet” is this new pseudo-world religion; which is just capitalism 3.0. I find the whole pet industry, the whole dog industry to be insanely bizarre, and I trust nobody who talks about “saving the planet” who owns an iPhone, owns any sort of car, or has an Amazon Prime subscription. Certainly not any vegans.
A Real Stoic is a Carnivore
Animals are animals. They are lower on the hierarchy and totem pole on earth. Man is the apex predator, the apex bully, and the apex tyrant.
Should we care for animals or “animal rights”? No. Animals are our slaves.
If you consider even dogs and pets… They are essentially our emotional slaves. People talk a lot about the virtuosity of dogs being loyal or whatever… And giving you unconditional love. This seems like some sort of emotional slavery.
The only dogs I respect are some sort of canine dogs, some sort of attack or defense dogs, or hunting dogs. For example, in John Wick 3; Halle Berry and her dogs. An animal should either be a weapon, or nothing.
Why Do People Care About Animals So Much?
Essentially, it looks like men no longer have a backbone. No more spine.
I trust nobody who owns a dog.
Let us not forget; they call it dog ownership, or “owning a pet”. There is no more concept of “human ownership”, or “owning a human.”
What is the end goal of humanity? To me, it is towards entrepreneurship, innovation, art and aesthetics, philosophy, etc. Design.
Stoicism should be considered a tool that could aid you in these things.
For example, I think 99% of entrepreneurship is courage. Stoicism could help you with that.
I also think with design, great design is also 99% courage, having the courage to attempt something that won’t sell or be received well… Stoicism is all about practical courage.
Also, weightlifting. To attempt to lift a certain weight you have never attempted before takes great courage. For example, me atlas lifting 1000 pounds; that is 10 plates and a 25 on each side, this is the true Stoic training. Why? The fear of injury is what holds most people back; if you had successfully conquered this fear and not injured yourself, this is pure Stoic bliss.
I think the only and the only proper way to lift weights is repetition maximum training. That is; what is the maximum amount of weight you’re able to successfully lift or move, even half an inch?
To me, the courage is the success. Even if you had the courage to attempt it… That is what is considered success.
Simple exercises to do include the atlas lift, innovated by Eric Kim, or a one repetition max rack pull.
Or, a high trap bar deadlift, heavy farmer’s walks, or heavy sandbag carries. Or even a simple thing you could do is go to the park or to the local nature center, find the biggest rock there and just see if you could pick it up.
If you’re interested in Stoicism, and have had some interesting thoughts on Stoicism, one of the most noble things you could do is start your own blog. I think blogs are 1000 times more effective than publishing some sort of static printed book; I think the problem in today’s world is that everyone is seeking some sort of legitimacy by being picked up by some sort of legitimate publisher and getting “published”, seeing your printed book at Barnes & Noble or whatever.
I say it is better to be open source, free and permissionless, decentralized. Just publish your thoughts and book as a free PDF, and just host it on Dropbox, Google Drive, or your own web server. Share the link freely, and also just publish the raw text as a big blog post.
Even Sam Bankman-Fried wisely thought; 99.9% of books could just be summarized as big blog posts.
Don’t trust any modern-day published book which isn’t free, because… there is some sort of hidden clout chasing somewhere.
Even one of the worst
compromises that led to the demise of Ray Dalio was the fact that he took his Principles book, which was essentially a free e-book PDF on his website, and then took it off, because I think he got a book deal with Simon and Schuster. After he did that, he lost my respect.
If you’re already independently wealthy, and you don’t crowdsource your self-esteem… why would you need to externally validate yourself by getting some sort of constipated publisher and annoying editor?
Editors are bad.
Start your own blog and start blogging your own thoughts on Stoic philosophy, and even start a YouTube channel and start vlogging on it. My generalized thought is simple: if your thought, your idea, your blog post, your video, or whatever could even impact the life of one other human being on planet earth… It is worth it.