In our last +1, we hung out with a couple of Zenos—Emerson’s leopard gecko and the founder of Stoicism.
Side note: Every single time I look at our gecko I feel like I’m looking backwards in time.
Fun fact: You know how long geckos have been around? Scientists from Oregon State University and the Natural History Museum in London found geckos preserved in amber dating back 100 million years ago. (Wow.) (Picture here.)
Today we’re going to leave the leopard gecko in his terrarium and talk about the Stoic Zeno.
Apparently Zeno was a very successful merchant. One of my favorite things about the origin stories of Stoicism is the fact that he arrived in Athens via shipwreck.
In his brilliant introduction to Stoicism in his brilliant book How to Think Like a Roman Emperor, Donald Robertson tells us: “Zeno told his students that he had come to value wisdom more than wealth or reputation. He used to say, ‘My most profitable journey began on the day I was shipwrecked and lost my entire fortune.’”
How epic is that?
Shall we cue our Optimize choir of angels on that last line?! 👼👼👼
“My most profitable journey began on the day I was shipwrecked and lost my entire fortune.”
Reminds me of Vernon Howard’s brilliant parallel wisdom: “If your grand purpose in life is to wake up, then whatever happens to you is good, for it can prod you into self-awakening.”
And: “If it takes apparent misfortune to turn us into true philosophers and doers of good to receive good, then apparent misfortune is our greatest fortune.”
That’s Today’s +1.
Experiencing any “apparent misfortune”?
Here’s to holding that experience with a firm grip and alchemizing it into the most profitable experience of our lives.