#24: What it Means to be "Tough" and Dangers of Chasing Success

PLUS: Why it's important to understand rather than convince

Welcome, Stoics.

Explore curated content ranging from Stoic wisdom on success and toughness to innovative methods for managing relationships and emotions, each designed to enhance understanding and personal growth.

In today’s Nous:

  1. 🏹 Wisdom Arrows: Dive into thought-provoking videos on success, toughness, and the merits of argument, each offering a unique philosophical perspective to ponder throughout the week.

  2. 🧰 Stoic Toolbox: Unpack the "Two Things Are True Mentality" to foster deeper connections and emotional resilience in your relationships.

  3. 🤖 Philosophy Remixed: Learn how Seneca's ancient wisdom on reason can be adapted for preschoolers, helping them manage anger and make wise choices.

  4. Todo List: Engage with practical self-improvement strategies, including habit formation and fitness tips, to enhance your productivity and well-being.

Read time: 5 minutes

Editor’s Picks

🏹 Wisdom Arrows

These are three videos I recommend you watch, providing good insight and reflection for the week ahead.

💰 Some Stoic Advice on Chasing Money and Success. In this video, I reveal what Epictetus had to say about the problems with chasing success and how to do it right. Watch the video here. 

💪 How I Define Being “Tough.” I don’t think a tough person is someone loud and aggressive. I have a different definition. Watch here.

🧠 Arguments Are For the Weak. This is a thought-provoking video where the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche challenges reason and argumentation. It’s somewhat “anti-Stoic” but still fun to explore. Watch here.

Technique Try-Out

🧰 Two Things Are True Mentality

In this month's "Stoic Toolbox", we explore a transformative relationship principle highlighted by Dr. Becky Kennedy in her book Good Inside.

Kennedy introduced the concept of "multiplicity," or the "two things are true" mentality, which encourages acknowledging multiple realities simultaneously. This approach is vital for healthy relationships because it enables individuals to recognize and respect their own feelings and perspectives alongside those of others, even in conflict.

Kennedy contrasts this with the act of convincing, where the goal is to prove a singular reality, often leading to increased conflict and decreased trust. Instead, she advises fostering understanding by accepting that multiple truths can coexist, which builds connection and emotional resilience. This practice involves embracing complex emotions within ourselves and empathizing with others' feelings without rushing to resolve or dismiss them.

Shifting from a mindset of convincing to one of understanding can defuse conflicts and deepen connections. By recognizing and validating multiple emotional realities, we can support healthier, more resilient relationships. This practice, as Kennedy suggests, not only aids in interpersonal relations but also in nurturing our own emotional landscapes.

The Practice:

  1. Recognize when you are being defensive and need to “convince” another person about the proof of your reality.

  2. Pause and take a mindful moment. Hit the reset button in my heart.

  3. Stop all forms of explaining and convincing and instead get curious.

  4. Resist the urge to make this about being right or wrong and instead just try and learn more about the other person’s perspective.

  5. When the time is right you can express how you feel, but it’s less of an argument and more of a “I prefer this type of icrecream” kind of vibe.

New Ways of Seeing

🤖 Seneca for Pre-Schoolers

Sometimes philosophy can be hard to relate back to younger children, but they can benefit from it as much as anyone. In this remix, Seneca teaches the power of reason in anger management for young kids.

Imagine you have a superpower inside you that helps you think and make good choices—that's like your own inner superhero, called reason. You don't need to get upset or angry to solve problems because your superpower is always there, strong and ready to help you. It's always with you, always listening to you, and it won't make things worse like getting angry can. So whenever you're feeling upset or unsure, remember to use your thinking superpower to figure things out. It's the best tool you have to take care of any situation, big or small.

Seneca as a Pre-School Teacher

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Off The Troden Path

📆 Self-Improvement To-Do List

  Create habits: James Clear, author of Atomic Habits just released his own app. I’m enjoying using it. The idea behind this is not to just track habits but to form habits that last.

Plan: I’m a big fan of analog task managers. I'm currently using the notebook Productivity Planner and find that writing out my intentions for each day is very clarifying.

VO2 Training: My friend and mentor Justin Noppé has been helping me improve my cardio fitness over the last few months. Your VO2 max, it turns out, is super important for health and longevity. Justin explains how to improve your metrics in this video.

All Things End

🔥 Friend of Wisdom

Thank you for joining me in this issue of The Nous. Feel free to reply and share your thoughts. I read all the comments!

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