You may not have the control to lengthen your life, but you can do much to deepen it.Frank Sonnenberg
When you’ve decided that you ought to do something and are doing it, never try to avoid being seen to do it, even if most people will probably view it with disapproval; for if it isn’t right to do it, avoid doing it in the first place, but if it is, why be afraid of those who’ll reproach you without justification.
Epictetus (c.50 – 135), Handbook (35)
Execupundit’s Michael Wade offers an excerpt from the Little Book of Stoicism:
No tree becomes deep-rooted and sturdy unless strong winds blow against it. This shaking and pulling is what makes the tree tighten its grip and plant its roots more securely; the fragile trees are those grown in a sunny valley. “Why then,” asks Seneca, “do you wonder that good men are shaken…
Seth Godin posts a couple of considerations for independents.
Firstly, on time and deadlines…
It’s amazing how much slack people will give you if you’re proactive about what you see and what you know. No need to make promises you can’t keep, and no need to hide from the promises you’ve made.
Secondly on the different strategies available, along with the consequences…
1. Honor the noise in your head.
2. Embrace your market.
3. Stay busy.
In your conversation, avoid talking at length or overmuch about your own exploits or the dangers that you’ve faced; for pleasant though it may be for you to recall your perils, it is not as for others to listen to everything that has happened to you.
Epictetus (c.50 – 135), Handbook (14)
He who dies merely because of pain is weak and lazy; he who lives merely for pain is a fool.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (58.36)
Execupundit’s Michael Wade points to a forthcoming series on General Grant — US Civil War general and, later, 18th president of the United States.
It was Michael who first sparked my interest in Grant. It’s on the History channel. I hope it’s available in the UK.
Here’s the trailer:
Lay down from this moment a certain character and pattern of behaviour for yourself, which you are to preserve both when you’re alone and when you’re with others.
Epictetus (c.50 – 135), Handbook (33.1)
Men seek for seclusion in the wilderness, by the seashore, or in the mountains – a dream you have cherished only too fondly yourself. But such fancies are wholly unworthy of a philosopher, since at any moment you can choose to retire within yourself. Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul; above all, he who possesses resources in himself, which he need only contemplate to secure immediate ease of mind – the ease that is but another word for a well-ordered spirit. Avail yourself often, then, of this retirement, and so continually renew yourself.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (4.3)