#1729 Becoming Invincible

Via Stoic Persistence

Over our last several +1s, we’ve been enjoying a feast of wisdom from David Fideler’s scrumptious and nutritious Breakfast with Seneca.

For those keeping track, we started with wisdom on the fact that EVERYTHING (!) in our lives is on loan, then we talked about the fact that Stoics were called “progressors,” then we reminded ourselves that THIS ISN’T A DRESS REHEARSAL, then we reflected on the fact that we’d be wise to hang out with the wise.

Today we’re going to wrap up our feast.

Let’s get straight to work.

David Fideler tells us: “Endurance, for the Stoic, was an essential human quality. Seneca wrote that ‘even after a poor harvest, one should seed again often, what was lost to poor soil due to continued barrenness has been made good by one year’s fertility.’ Similarly, ‘After a shipwreck, sailors try the sea again. ... If we were forced to give up everything that causes trouble, life itself would stop moving forward.’”

He continues by saying: “The Stoics believed that nothing external can harm a wise person who possesses virtue, as long as his or her virtue stays intact.”

And: “To illustrate persistence, Seneca uses the example of someone at the Olympic Games who wears out an opponent through sheer patience. (The Latin word patient means ‘endurance.’) Similarly, in terms of mental endurance, the wise person, through long training, acquires the patience to wear out, or simply ignore, any attack on his character. Epictetus also uses an analogy from an athletic competition. He explains that even if you should falter in an athletic match, no one can prevent you from standing up again and resuming the fight. Even if you should fail at that particular match, you can continue to train and enter the contest again. Then, if you should finally win the victory, it would be as though you had never given up. Sometimes, just being able to keep making progress is a huge victory in itself.”

Finally, he says: “Stoics, like everyone else, will experience adversity and misfortune. What makes Stoics invincible is that they don’t give up. Stoics will make the best of whatever circumstances are at hand, even amid failure, disaster, or financial difficulties. If knocked to the ground, Stoics will stand up, brush themselves off, keep training, and keep moving forward.”

That’s from a chapter called “How to Be Authentic and Contribute to Society,” sub-section: “Stoic Persistence: ‘Becoming Invincible.’”

Yes, of course, when I read that I thought of my new tattoo…


I also thought of another genius quip from Seneca.

He once said that “Disaster is virtue’s opportunity.”

Getting knocked around? PERFECT.

That’s a wonderful opportunity to PRACTICE YOUR PHILOSOPHY.

I also thought of Yogananda.

In The Law of Success, he tells us: “Even failure should act as a stimulant to your willpower, and to your material and spiritual growth. Weed out the causes of failure, and with double vigor launch what you wish to accomplish. The season of failure is the best time for sowing seeds of success.”

Remember our formula for Forging Antifragile Confidence...

The WORSE we feel, the MORE COMMITTED we are to our protocol.

Disaster? It’s virtue’s opportunity.

Here’s to practicing your philosophy and cultivating YOUR Heroic endurance.


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