#12: Relationship Cheatsheet, Anger Mastery, HALT, and Warrior Training

Includes many free tools and resources

🏹 Stoic Wisdom Arrows

💢 NEW Anger Course: Transform your life with 16 easy-to-implement Stoic techniques from Seneca, promoting emotional well-being and anger management. Listen for free here.

🤴 Marcus Aurelius Rules for Life: See a breakdown of the key takeaways of my interview with Donald Robertson about the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius. See the notes here.

⭐️ Nietzsche's Answer to the Victim Mentality: A deep dive into the victim mentality, its origins, its implications, and the transformative power of Stoic philosophy and radical gratitude. Listen here.

⚔️ In many ways, true Stoics are Spiritual Warriors.

My friend and colleague Eric Brown is creating the WARRIOR100 experience. I asked Eric to write a guest post to explain more about it. Here's what Eric has to share:

They created, cultivated, and upheld the virtues and values that modern civilization was built upon.

They embodied their philosophy. From this place of deep practice came legendary Warrior-Kings like Marcus Aurelius, the Warrior-Philosophers following Socrates, and the Warrior-Sages like Epictetus.

And now, perhaps more than ever, we need a return—a renaissance—of these Spiritual Warriors.

You need it in your own life, when you’re protecting your family, when you’re raising the next generation of humanity, when you are enforcing your own boundaries, or cultivating virtues and values to create a life truly worth living.

The warrior spirit, and the warrior virtues like discipline, courage, integrity, service, and mastery, aren’t just nice-to-haves: they are essential foundations for a meaningful life.

Feeling this need in myself and others, we’ve built the greatest initiation into the modern Warrior spirit available: the WARRIOR100.

4 daily disciplines. 100 days straight.

Physical training, concentration meditation, contemplative study, and integrity audits.

It is designed to cultivate the virtues, values, strengths, and gifts shared across the Warrior cultures and Stoics for thousands of years. Wisdom, honor, integrity, discipline, embodiment, justice, courage.

We’re looking for serious practitioners. Those who are ready to buckle down and do some incredible work together. I’ve worked with Jon for many years, and deeply respect the work he is doing here. And if you’re willing to do the great work of becoming a living, breathing, practicing Stoic – you’re exactly the kind of person I’d like to work with as well.

Those who have joined our 100-Day initiations previously have said that it was “one of the best decisions in the last couple years – if not the best. Really helped to get my routines strong, find like-minded people and to really give full power.”

We begin on September 1st.

I hope you’ll join us. To put the wisdom and philosophy of the best Spiritual Warriors throughout history into practice, and become the living, breathing examples of virtue that the Stoics intended.

🚨 If you use ‘STOIC’ when signing up, I will ensure that everyone from this group is put in the same Warrior tribe together, so that you can do this alongside fellow Stoics and this community. It will also give you $20 off. 

It is an incredible adventure, and I truly hope you will join us.

🧰 Stoic Toolbox: Don’t Create Impossible Desires

You are foolish if you want things that are impossible to attain.

For example, many of us wish our children, partners, friends, and parents would live forever.

We desire this with passion.

But of course, this is an impossible desire—you are not able to make people live forever.

You don’t have those superpowers, and even if you did, such decisions are beyond you to make.

Keep this example in mind with areas of your life that seem more trivial too.

It is naive, for example, to expect your partner never to flirt with others, or your friends to never gossip about you, or people not commit crimes.

Such ideals require poor behaviour to turn into something else and human nature to fundamentally change.

[1] You are a fool to want your children, wife or friends to be immortal; it calls for powers beyond you, and gifts not yours to either own or give. It is equally naive to ask that your slave be honest; it amounts to asking that vice be not vice but something different.2 You can, however, avoid meeting with disappointment in your desires; focus on this, then, since it is in the scope of your capacities.
— Enchiridion, Chapter 14

Understanding HALT: A Simple Compass in Turbulent Times

Ever found yourself snapping at someone or making a hasty decision and later wondering, "Why did I do that?" Enter HALT - a simple yet profound acronym that stands for Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, and Tiredness. It's a quick self-check tool that can offer a world of clarity.

Now, you might wonder, "What's the Stoic angle here?" Well, Stoicism teaches us the value of self-awareness and mastery over our reactions. HALT aligns beautifully with this philosophy, acting as a compass to navigate our emotional landscape.

Hunger:

It's not just about the stomach growls. It's about our basic needs. Are you emotionally hungry? Spiritually? Recognizing this can prevent us from making decisions on an 'empty tank'.

Anger:

Ah, the fiery emotion that can burn bridges. But as Stoics, we're taught to pause and reflect. Why are we angry? Is it a projection of an internal conflict? Understanding the root can help us respond, not react.

Loneliness:

We're social beings. Even the most introverted among us need connection. Loneliness can cloud our judgment, making us seek validation in the wrong places. Recognizing this can help us seek genuine connections or cherish the ones we have.

Tiredness:

Ever tried reasoning with a sleep-deprived person? It's a challenge. Fatigue, both physical and mental, can skew our perspective. Recognizing it can be the first step to rest and rejuvenation.

So, next time you find yourself at a crossroads, feeling a bit off-kilter, or about to make a snap decision, take a moment. HALT. Ask yourself if any of these factors are at play. It's a small step, but one that aligns beautifully with our Stoic journey towards self-improvement and understanding.

🤝 Friend of Wisdom

Thank you for joining me in this issue of The Stoic Handbook Newsletter. Feel free to reply and share your thoughts.

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Thank you for reading. As Stoics, we understand that the future is uncertain, so let's say, "I will be in touch soon, fate permitting!"

Jon Brooks