Episodes
Published 02/01/23
He had considered not going public with it. He had wanted so badly to be able to keep saying, to get credit for being the guy who says, ‘I’m sixteen years sober.’ But he could not. So in September of 2020, the actor Dax Shepard opened up on his podcast about relapsing. The episode was titled “Day 7”—because after a streak of a decade and half he was effectively back at the beginning. “Today, I have seven days,” he said with as much strength as he could muster. Beautiful. --- In today's...
Published 01/26/23
Marcus Aurelius was clearly torn about his fellow man. He was loving and kind and spoke repeatedly of serving the common good. He was also clearly frustrated and disappointed with the flaws of the people around him. Like many great men, he had trouble understanding that not everyone had his gifts, not all of them were capable of what he was capable of. You can see in Meditations how he wrestled with these feelings. ✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail 🏛...
Published 01/25/23
Ryan speaks with Sarah Churchwell about her book Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby, the complicated figure of F. Scott Fitzgerald, how The Great Gatsby’s celebration of mad dreamers who chase the American Dream informs our pursuit of the same ideal today, and more. Sarah Churchwell is professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Her work focuses on 20th- and 21st-century...
Published 01/25/23
Marcus Aurelius wasn’t perfect. With so many responsibilities competing for his time and attention, he was guilty, as we all have been, of letting his good habits slide. The question is: What do we do when this happens? Today, Ryan discusses how Marcus kept his habits in check and how you can, too, as well as the Stoic idea that influenced his newest tattoo, which he got from Andy Pho. Andy is the owner of Upside Tattoo, and he opened a new shop in Hutto, TX in 2022. Follow Andy on...
Published 01/24/23
In one of the weirdest passages of Meditations, Marcus Aurelius notes with pride that he never laid a hand on any of his female slaves. Not cheating on your spouse, not sexually assaulting a captive person, these are hardly achievements worthy of being feted for. They are the bare minimum, you could argue, to be considered a good, moral, virtuous person. And yet, they are not nothing, especially back then, it’s worth taking a minute to consider.  --- In today's Daily Stoic Journal reading,...
Published 01/23/23
Ryan presents the first of four excerpts from Josiah Osgood’s Uncommon Wrath: How Caesar and Cato’s Deadly Rivalry Destroyed the Roman Republic. Here, in chapter one, Josiah sets the stage for Rome’s great collapse by describing the world that Julius Caesar grew up in, how Cato the Younger’s upbringing put him at odds with Caesar, and the explosive events that escalated the tension between them. You can listen to Ryan’s recent conversation with Josiah here.  ✉️  Sign up for the Daily Stoic...
Published 01/22/23
Ryan speaks with Molly Bloom about her book Molly's Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World, the crossroads moment that taught her to overcome challenges through mindfulness, the intoxicating and eye-opening effects of running poker games for the ultra-rich and famous, how hitting rock-bottom taught her that good character is something to be trained, and more. Molly Bloom is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and...
Published 01/21/23
It feels terrible to hear that someone is breaking up with you. Or that your retirement portfolio has dropped significantly in recent months. To find out that the company you’ve invested your entire career in is laying you off. That your father doesn’t accept the person you love or how you live your life. We want it to be otherwise, so we’re disappointed. It hurts, so we take it personally. In Meg Mason’s novel Sorrow and Bliss (listen to our great podcast episode with Meg), Martha Friel's...
Published 01/20/23
As Gandhi sat with a reporter one hot afternoon, he began experiencing some stomach pains. An attendant brought him a mudpack to place on his abdomen. “This puts me in touch with my future,” he said with a smile. He was joking about his mortality, just as the Stoics and all wise philosophers have. The reporter was a bit surprised. You are so young, he said. And that’s when Gandhi reminded him, as Marcus Aurelius did in Meditations, that age didn’t matter. Death was the common lot of all...
Published 01/19/23
It is certainly true that people can do some awful things to each other. We hear of a trusted representative who is stealing from their clients. We hear of a man who has been leading a second life, even starting a second family. We hear of a woman who commits an unspeakable crime. These gross violations of morality and law do exist. They are things we would never do, we’d never even consider doing them. However, the truth is that most of the wrongs committed day to day are done by ordinary...
Published 01/18/23
Ryan speaks with Lauren Fleshman about her new book Good For a Girl: A Woman Running in a Man’s World, how the Stoics approached many of the gender equality issues that we still debate today, the unique power of sports to shatter perceptions and shift perspectives, and more.  Lauren Fleshman is a retired world champion track and field athlete who competed in the 1500, 3000, 5000, and marathon events. Lauren graduated from Stanford as a 15-time All-American and five-time NCAA champion, and...
Published 01/18/23
It’s clear when you read about Cato and Marcus Aurelius that these were men of great reserve. Antoninus, too. They were friendly and kind of course, and to people who knew them well, there was frivolity and fun, but they kept something back from strangers. They were self-contained. Today, Ryan examines why having the discipline to create strong boundaries for yourself is how you define who you are, especially in the age of social media, He also presents seven Stoic principles to adhere to...
Published 01/17/23
To the Stoics, there wasn’t anything wrong with having money. Marcus Aurelius came from money. So did Cato. Seneca came from money and also made a lot of it. In fact, pretty much all the Stoics except for Cleanthes and Epictetus were incredibly rich. Money, nice stuff, living the comfortable life…this was not necessarily the problem. 🎧 For a limited time, you can purchase The Daily Stoic ebook for only $1.99 on Kindle ✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic...
Published 01/16/23
Ryan speaks with his friend Steven Pressfield during an impromptu walk along Town Lake in downtown Austin, Texas. The two discuss the life experiences behind Steven’s new book Govt Cheese a memoir, the lessons that they've learned from their many mentors, the value of repurposing content, and more. Steven Pressfield wrote for 27 years before he got his first novel published. During that time he worked 21 different jobs in eleven states. Steven taught school, drove tractor-trailers, worked in...
Published 01/15/23
Ryan speaks with Mark Manson about the new documentary based on his astronomically successful book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, how being highly successful can ruin one’s life, what he is striving to disrupt in the self-help industry, and more. Mark Manson is a self-help blogger and the author of four books, including the New York Times Bestsellers Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope, Will, and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. His work focuses on providing life advice that is...
Published 01/14/23
Francis Bacon was a brilliant philosopher whose breakthroughs reverberate through our world today. He was also a human being and a politician. Less glorious than his intellectual achievements were his travails in the public sphere, which ultimately ended in his conviction for accepting bribes. No one was more disappointed in this than Bacon, who lamented at the end of his life that he had wasted himself, “in things for which I was least fit, so as I may truly say, my soul hath been a...
Published 01/13/23
In one of his letters, Seneca tells us of an old Roman pleasantry that friends would exchange when greeting each other: “If you are well,” one would say after inquiring how someone was doing, “it is well and I am also well.” It’s a nice little custom, isn’t it? If you’re good, I’m good, and everything is good. Nothing else matters. Well, Seneca took it one step further. --- In today's Daily Stoic excerpt, Ryan examines Epictetus's assertion that the one path to serenity is in "giving up...
Published 01/12/23
Marcus Aurelius wasn’t born Marcus Aurelius (literally, his name was Marcus Catilius Severus Annius Verus). Epictetus wasn’t born a sage–to say he was would be to deprive him of the enormous credit due to a man who went from a lowly slave to a wise and powerful philosopher. No, becoming a Stoic takes work. It takes practice. 🎧 For a limited time, you can purchase The Daily Stoic ebook for only $1.99 on Kindle ✉️ Sign up for the Daily Stoic email: https://dailystoic.com/dailyemail 🏛 Check...
Published 01/11/23
Ryan speaks with Humble, the Poet about his new book How to be Love(d), why our passions often get in the way of real love, viewing love as a service to others rather than a reward for ourselves, and more. Kanwer Singh, professionally known as Humble, the Poet, is a Canadian poet, author, YouTuber, rapper, and spoken word artist, as well as the son of immigrant Indian Punjabi Sikh parents. In 2010, he left his job as an elementary school teacher in 2010 to become a poet, and since then, he...
Published 01/11/23
When he was starting out in Hollywood, Judd Apatow began to have panic attacks. The stress of rewriting a script. Getting a film in on time. Managing all the moving pieces on a project. He felt the enormity of the pressure and like a lot of us, he took that to an irrational extreme. The Stoics would say panic, stress, and anxiety are feelings, and you can’t prevent them from happening. And if you try to suppress these emotions, like stuffing junk in your closet, it eventually comes exploding...
Published 01/10/23
Happiness isn’t just a feeling, it’s a skill that can be cultivated. This is a clip from The Dalai Lama’s Guide to Happiness, a five-part audio documentary series by the Ten Percent Happier podcast. Over the course of the series, Dan Harris talks to His Holiness about practical strategies for thorny dilemmas, including: how to get along with difficult people; whether compassion can cut it in an often brutal world; why there is a self-interested case for not being a jerk; and how to create...
Published 01/10/23
We worry about the future. About who might win an election we’re closely watching. About what some foreign leader might do. About the markets and your portfolio. About the climate. It’s so uncertain, we think, unpredictable and potentially overwhelming. But is it really? In today's Daily Stoic Journal reading, Ryan explores why the Stoics viewed the soul as a sphere which is strengthened or weakened only through one's choices, and how meditating on this can set us off on the right foot in...
Published 01/09/23
Ryan celebrates country living with this presentation of the first in a four-part reading of MD Usher’s translation of Princeton University Press’s How to Be a Farmer: An Ancient Guide to Life on the Land. This excerpt examines the benefits of living with nature, dealing with good and bad days on the farm, being neighborly in the country and more. Ryan’s conversation with MD Usher can be heard here 🎓 Sign up for the Daily Stoic New Year, New You Challenge to create better habits in 2023:...
Published 01/08/23
Ryan looks back on some of the best interviews of 2022 about writing. Featuring Steven Pressfield on what it takes to build discipline and why it’s so important, Robert Greene on our natural tendency as humans to take the path of least resistance, Jack Carr on how your character impacts your work, Meg Mason on how important it is to develop taste as a writer, and Adam Hochschild on how history can inform the push for change in the present. 🎓 Sign up for the Daily Stoic New Year, New You...
Published 01/07/23