#379 Stoic Spas

Are More Like Hospitals (Check Yourself In Yet?)

In our last +1, we talked about how to give advice Seneca-style. Recall that he didn’t do it from a soapbox. He did with the humility of a friend in the hospital bed next to you.

(Pop quiz: You practice that approach yesterday in any potential advice-giving?)

Continuing our Stoics-in-a-hospital theme, how about a parallel idea from Epictetus?

Recall that Epictetus was a former slave turned philosopher-teacher to Rome’s elite young noblemen. He had a great teaching style. Super intense. Funny. No nonsense.

In The Discourses, he tells us (via one of his students who did the actual writing; thank you, Arrian) that his lectures should feel more like a trip to the HOSPITAL than a trip to the SPA. (Laughing.)

In other words, Epictetus considered effective philosophy (and certainly effective teaching of Stoic philosophy) to feel more than a little uncomfortable.

We need to be willing to cut through the stuff that isn’t working. And, sometimes that feels more like surgery than a massage.

So, Today’s +1.

Anything in your life that could use a little surgical removal?

Awesome.

I’m over here in a matching gown wishing you luck with your procedure as I engage in mine!

(Let’s do this!!)

Unlock the full Optimize Experience

Get instant access to a ton of wisdom. Optimize every facet of your life. Actualize your potential.

Start free trial