#9: Empathy, Martial Arts, and Trauma Writing

+ What I'm building, Stoic roll ethics, and more.

🏹 Stoic Wisdom Arrows

⚖️ The Stoic Empath: Learn how to find balance in your responses to your loved ones who are suffering or struggling with certain aspects of their life. Listen here.

💗 Decode Your Relationship Satisfaction: The following test takes 2 minutes or less to complete and can reveal very insightful and accurate data on the state of your relationships. Take the test.

🥋 Stoicism and Martial Arts: Brazilian Jiujitsu black belt and Donald Robertson discuss the intersection of martial arts and Stoic philosophy. Listen here.

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🔨 Stoicism Decoded: The “Hinge” of The Good Life

If you’ve been interested in Stoicism for some time, you might have come across the idea of the four cardinal virtues—wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance. But why are they called the “cardinal” virtues?

The term "cardinal" has its roots in the Latin "cardinalis," signifying "principal" or "pivotal," and is further traced back to "cardo," denoting a "hinge."

This suggests the metaphor of everything else hinging on, or being determined by, what is deemed cardinal.

The Stoics believed that cultivating these virtues would lead to eudaimonia, a state of flourishing or good spirit, which in a sense, acts as the “hinge” of a good life.

♟️ What I’m Building: The 6 Stoic Tactics to Escape Negative Thoughts

I’m in the process of building out my upcoming live Stoic training course where you’ll get to interact with me and other Stoic training partners.

This is a glimpse of the high-level curriculum, but as always there is a lot more involved in my live experiences. 😉

Week 1: Understanding Negative Thought Loops

  • Introduction to Stoicism and its relevance to modern life

  • Identifying negative thought loops and understanding their impact

  • The role of self-awareness in breaking free from negative patterns

Week 2: The Dichotomy of Control and Acceptance

  • Differentiating between what is in our control and what is not

  • Cultivating acceptance and equanimity in the face of external challenges

  • Practical Stoic exercises for embracing the dichotomy of control

Week 3: Resilience Through Adversity and Embracing Challenges

  • The Stoic perspective on hardship and growth

  • Building mental strength and resilience through adversity

  • Strategies for turning challenges into opportunities for personal development

Week 4: The Price of Admission and Overcoming Resistance

  • The concept of the "price of admission" in life and decision-making

  • Identifying and overcoming resistance to accepting reality

  • Stoic exercises for developing rationality and reducing victim mentality

Week 5: Developing Emotional Detachment and Empathy

  • The importance of not personalizing negative thoughts and experiences

  • Cultivating empathy and understanding for self and others

  • Stoic practices for achieving emotional detachment and maintaining inner peace

Week 6: Mastering Mindfulness and Gratitude

  • The role of mindfulness and gratitude in Stoic philosophy

  • Techniques for staying present and embracing the present moment

  • Integrating Stoic principles into daily life for lasting positive change

🧰 Stoic Toolbox: Role Ethics

Stoic role ethics is a branch of ethics within Stoicism, an ancient Greek and Roman philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in the 3rd century BCE. Stoic role ethics focuses on understanding the various roles that individuals play in society and how they should act according to those roles in order to achieve eudaimonia (a state of flourishing or well-being). It emphasizes moral character, personal responsibility, and adherence to natural law in determining appropriate actions.

So much in life depends on the luck we are dealt.

We do not choose our genetics, our body, our brain, or our parents.

We don’t decide what time or location we are born into.

We don’t decide if we grow up poor or rich, or whether we are handsome or unattractive.

We don’t choose if we are susceptible to deadly diseases or if we will be the victim of a freak accident.

How can we maintain peace of mind when so much of our life is outside of our control?

👉 Read the full article here.

Technique Try Out: Spend At Least 15 Minutes Writing About A Traumatic Life Event

British psychologist Richard Wiseman in his book 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot (reviewed here), shows that one of the best ways for improving one’s happiness and emotional immune system is journalling. The reason? Journalling allows one to turn chaotic, muddled thoughts into a coherent narrative, allowing the writer to gain greater perspective over the events. Studies have shown that spending just fifteen minutes writing about a traumatic life event can ease the associated anxiety permanently.


Think back over your life. What situation has caused you the most pain and anguish? What situation still makes you uncomfortable when you recreate it in your mind? Write about this event for at least fifteen minutes. Be sure to include as much detail as you can about how you felt and what you sensed. Write it like a piece of fiction, and at the end sum up what you learned from the experience. The journalling app I use is called Day One.

Trauma healing and expressive writing is a key element in my course Stoic Anxiety Mastery: Sage Edition. Subscribers can access the entire bundle with a 25% discount here: Claim 25% Discount.

If you are enjoying the free Stoic Handbook content, particularly the podcasts, but want to go deeper, I’ve created Stoic Handbook Premium.

Here you can enjoy my courses and exclusive Q&As, lessons, and ad-free episodes. Here’s the latest:

  • AMA #4: On Spiritual Blindspots, Mentorship, Best Podcasts, and More

  • AMA #3: On Negative Thoughts, Riding the Wave of Craving, Travel, and Healthy Ambition

  • The Stoic Daily Mindful Review to Improve Character and Increase Virtue

  • Learn to Want What You Already Have

You can get access to this course and others with a free trial by visiting here.

🤝 Friend of Wisdom

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