The Tao of Seneca: Letters from a Stoic Master + On Groundless Fears (Letter 13)


“It is precisely in times of immunity from care that the soul should toughen itself beforehand for occasions of greater stress, and it is while fortune is kind that it should fortify itself against her violence.” – Seneca the Younger After 10+ years of fantasizing about it, I have turned my favorite writing of all […]

Practicing What You Preach


“Prove your words by your deeds.” – Seneca the Younger My job is usually to deconstruct world-class performers and tease out their routines and habits you can use. But in this in-betweenisode, I present some short nuggets of practical, tactical philosophy about practicing what you preach. This is a letter from Stoic heavyweight Seneca the […]

How to Achieve Self-Ownership


“Greatness develops only at long intervals.” – Seneca This is another special episode of the podcast, featuring one of my favorite letters from Seneca. It’s short, but its impact can be great. Before you listen, recall this philosophy from Fight Club: “The things you own end up owning you.” Keep this in mind as you explore […]

How to Practice Poverty and Reduce Fear


“Establish business relations with poverty.” – Seneca These 10-15 minutes are gold. I revisit this letter of Seneca at least once a quarter, and I hope you find this episode equally powerful. The careful listener will find an extremely practical blueprint (and exercises) for optimizing performance in high-stress situations. If you only have 60 seconds for […]

How to Use Philosophy as a Personal Operating System: From Seneca to Musashi


(Photo credit: Graphistolage) The following interview is a slightly modified version of an interview that just appeared on BoingBoing. It explores philosophical systems as personal operating systems (for better decision-making), the value of college and MBAs, and the bridge between business and military strategy, among other things. Avi first reached out to discuss my practical […]

The Practicality of Pessimism: Stoicism as a Productivity System


This is a recent 5-minute presentation I gave at Google I/O Ignite called “The Practicality of Pessimism: Stoicism as a Productivity System.” In it, I discuss the two most effective productivity techniques I’ve found since 2004, both borrowed from Stoicism. I include personal usage examples, as well as several from Seneca and Cato. The audio […]

Stoicism 101: A Practical Guide for Entrepreneurs


Stoicism was born on the porch of Zeno, but it can be used in the concrete jungle. (Photo: Blue Cinderella) “There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living; there is nothing harder to learn.” -Seneca Few of us would consider ourselves philosophers. Most of us can recall at least one turtleneck-wearing […]