All Posts by Ramses

Stoic Podcast Notes #3 — Control, Logic, and Other Core Ideas in Stoicism

Stoicism is a philosophy that can be deceptively simple. There are just a few concepts that a Stoic needs to remember, but fully living those ideas is another challenge.

If we truly aim to be calm regardless of our life’s circumstances, it’s worth repeating the basic ideas until you grok them. Without a deep understanding, you will never be able to transform your character.

This week I’m sharing notes from two podcasts I only discovered recently; The Practical Stoic Podcast and The Pocket Philosopher. Both episodes cover basic ideas from Stoicism, but I found their presentation refreshing.

Last but not least, I let Chris Fisher continue his excellent presentation of the Stoic discipline of assent/judgment. This episode is for more advanced students of Stoicism, as becoming aware of your value judgments is tough. I especially liked the “stop it, strip it, see it” exercise that helps us question our impressions.

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Stoic Podcast Notes #2 – Speak, Think, and Focus Like a Stoic

If we want to live calm and happy lives, we need to work on ourselves continually. It’s not just enough to create healthy habits; we also need to know how we should talk to ourselves and others. Thoughts are powerful determinants in what we do.

What if you talk to yourself like crap every day? You will notice it in how you feel and how you act toward others. But once you’re in a negative thought-spiral, it’s challenging to get out.

We need to remind ourselves daily what is rational to think. Without this understanding, we’re led astray by random impressions that present themselves. We go with our initial reactions and then wonder why we feel like shit. Awareness of one’s own thoughts and beliefs is a virtue that few have.

Luckily, as Stoics, we know we can train our mind. We can stop negative and repetitive thoughts if we are aware of them. By being aware and having the right mental tools, we can become emotionally healthy and balanced individuals.

The following three podcast episodes helped me to understand better my automatic thought patterns and how they affect my behavior. They range from the theoretical (but easy to follow) parts to everyday interactions with others.

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Stoic Podcast Notes #1 — Stoic History, Conflict, and Meditating on Death

My name is Ramses, and I’m addicted to podcasts.

For years I was a bookworm. But in recent months, I’ve been searching elsewhere.

I’ve waded through the internet’s archives—listening, curating, and thinking, all to find the most useful podcast episodes.

Listening to podcasts has become somewhat of an obsession. Every chance I get, I have my earbuds in, a podcast playing in Spotify, and my Evernote app open to take notes.

I pause, I think, and I write. I have no particular aim, except to learn and slowly digest philosophical insights. My only hope is that my future self will make wise use of my notes.

And then I thought: why not share my notes publicly? Not everyone has the time or the patience to sit through long and deep podcast episodes. But I do, and by re-writing my thoughts, I further digest the wisdom from my fellow Stoics.

The Stoic Podcast Notes will be a recurring type of post on this blog. Every week, I will pick 3 to 5 episodes that caught my attention, and I will share my notes on them.

Remember there is a comment section on this blog! If you have notes on the same episodes, know of other good Stoic podcast episodes, or if you have different thoughts… share them!

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A Practical Guide to Stoic Wisdom

Are you wise, or do you tend to act like a fool?

Chances are, you’re less wise than you think. Your mind continuously tricks itself, and your biases screw you over while you are ignorant of most.

For example, when things go well, you’ll likely attribute it to yourself. When things go wrong, you blame it on the situation. Sounds familiar? I know it does to me.

It took a long time for me to understand I am less wise than I like to believe. The older I get, the more I realize how little I know. The truth of the matter is that most of us are stupid or foolish at best. 

For Stoics, you are wise, or you are not. There is no in-between. Luckily, we can strive to become wise. How? Through deliberate practice.

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How to Be Happy Like a Stoic: Cultivate the Four Virtues

Are you happy?

If yes: How will you stay happy?

If no: How will you become happy?

Do you have an excellent job, a house, your basic needs covered? Are you healthy, and do you have good friends and a family? It seems like you have all the ingredients to live a long and happy life!

But what if things go wrong? What if life turns out to be crap? You lose your job, possessions, friends, or you fall ill. Are you guaranteed to be unhappy?

Stoics argue you can be happy whether you are rich or piss poor.

To be happy, you do not need anything external. You only need to ask yourself one question: “How is my character?”

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