Remember that you are an actor in a drama, of such a kind as the author pleases to make it. If short, of a short one; if long, of a long one. If it is his pleasure you should act a poor man, a cripple, a governor, or a private person, see that you act it naturally. For this is your business, to act well the character assigned you; to choose it is another's. (Epictetus, Endichirion 17)
The more you carry, the slower you go.
Is it not madness and the wildest lunacy to desire so much when you can hold so little? … [it is folly] to think that it is the amount of money and not the state of mind that matters! (Seneca, Consolation To Helvia)
Yet another re-write. Hopefully, this one flows a little better, with a little less drama. The take away needs to be that this is like exercising your misfortune muscle. You really don't want to wait until you need it to see if you are strong enough.
"We should remind our spirits all the time that they love things that will leave - no, better, things that are already leaving. You possess whatever is given by Fortune without a guarantor." (Seneca – Consolation to Marcia)
Here's another rewrite. The original was okay, but it was very short and didn't, IMHO, truly press home the point. Or at least my take on the point: That we are really not well positioned to even know when another has done wrong. And it's not in anyone's best interests for us to act like we are.
If any man has done wrong, the harm is his own. But perhaps he has not done wrong. (Marcus Aurelius - Meditations IX.38)
"If it ain’t natural, it ain’t worth a damn." - Ray Wray
Taoism has an interesting concept called “wei wu wei”, which means something like "action without action" or "effortless doing". There are very large books written on what that means, practically, but the simplest and most useful Western term I would translate it to is, “Go with the flow.” Like much of Taoism, it sounds pretty passive, and I wouldn’t implement it in my life in its most literal reading. But there is a sense where I definitely would.
This one came out a bit more food-oriented that originally intended, mostly because that's what the best source material was harping on. But it really applies to anything we might lust after or dread. Taking the edge off of emotions like these through the use of reason is a key aim of Stoicism.
This is a new chapter, soon to be added to "Practical Stoicism". I had a hell of a time carving it down to the requisite "1 page", but once it was done, the resulting version actually came out far better than the original. It's interesting how having to use fewer words make you use better ones.
About the only thing I still miss was the extra quote I had to throw out:
Anything worth doing is worth doing well. (Your mom)
The following is a re-write of one of the first exercises written for Practical Stoicism. When I was simply writing for myself, I did a lot of cut-and-paste off the internet, mashing ideas from multiple sources together to create a kind of rambling Frankenstein monster of a booklet. It simply didn't read as well as it should have, with jumps from proposition to conclusion without pausing for explanation. And then back again. I intend to go back and fix that over time, at least for the worst of them.