© Stoic Coffee Break
Erick Cloward presents
Stoic Coffee Break
"Act on your principles, not your moods." A weekly meditation on how Stoic principles can help you be a better human.
October 18, 2021
208 - Radical Candor
It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own. – Marcus Aurelius Are you afraid to tell others what you really think or how you really feel? In this episode I want to talk about the idea of radical candor, and how committing to being honest about what you think and feel is one of the most challenging but rewarding things you can do.
October 11, 2021
207 - Resistance
Don’t demand or expect that events happen as you would wish them to. Accept events as they actually happen. That way peace is possible. — Epictetus What if you stopped resisting what life brought your way? What if you could cheerfully accept everything that came your way? How would that change the way you showed up in the world? This week I want to talk about the importance of dealing with what is, and not what we think it should be.
October 4, 2021
206 - The Long Ride
The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests. — Epictetus Do you think that life is meant to be comfortable? Do you make choices in your life to take the easy path and avoid discomfort? If so, then you may not be living a life as full as you could.
September 27, 2021
205 - Two Sides of the Same Coin
Some things are within our power, while others are not. Within our power are opinion, motivation, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever is of our own doing; not within our power are our body, our property, reputation, office, and, in a word, whatever is not of our own doing. — Epictetus One topic that I revisit on the podcast repeatedly is how important it is to control the things that we can’ and let go of the things that we can’t. For me, this is one of the most important lessons we can learn in our lives. In this episode, I want to talk about how we be more mindful of what we can, and what we cannot control.
September 20, 2021
204 - Blame and Responsibility
If change is forced upon you, you must resist the temptation to overreact or feel sorry for yourself. — Robert Greene How often do you feel that life is unfair? That something happened that you think should not have happened to you? Maybe someone hurt you and you want them to fix it? In this episode I want to talk about blame and responsibility.
September 13, 2021
203 - Belief Without Evidence is Wrong
It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. — William K. Clifford, Ethics of Belief We all like to think that we are wise, that our opinions are well thought out, and that we’re smart enough to spot when we have inconsistent beliefs. Today I want to talk about why believing something without sufficient evidence is wrong, and that idea that how we come to a belief or a conclusion is more important that the whether the belief or conclusion is correct.
September 6, 2021
202 - Life Is Long If You Know How To Use It
“While we wait for life, life passes.” — Seneca Time is the most important, the most in demand resource that we have in life. Are you spending yours wisely or do you let it go to waste? Today I want to talk about time, and how we can take some steps to be mindful of how we spend it.
August 30, 2021
201 - You May Leave This Life at Any Moment
“You may leave this life at any moment: have this possibility in your mind in all that you do or say or think.” — Marcus Aurelius Do you think about death? Are you afraid of death? Do you take the time to think about what the world will be like when you are no longer here? Today I want to talk about why death is so important, and how when we avoid thinking about death, we are missing out on one of the best tools to live a fulfilling life.
August 23, 2021
200 - With Great Responsibility Comes Great Power
“The responsibility is all yours. No one can stop you from being honest or straightforward.” — Marcus Aurelius To you own your actions? Do you graciously accept the consequences of your choices? When you make a mistake do you try to cover it up? Today I want to talk about the idea that to have more control over your life, you need to accept responsibility for everything you do.
August 16, 2021
199 - What are you Thinking?
“Objective judgment, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now at this very moment. Willing acceptance – now at this very moment – of all external events. That’s all you need.” — Marcus Aurelius How aware are you of what you are thinking? What you are feeling? Most of us like to think that we are pretty aware of what’s going on in our minds or what emotion is currently driving us. I mean, we’re the one inside of our mind, so we should know what we’re thinking or feeling, right? Well, not always. Often, the thoughts and emotions inside my head are busy, confusing, conflicting, and overwhelming. So today we’re going to talk about the most important mental skill you can develop, awareness.
August 9, 2021
198 - The Fear of Knowing What You Want
“Everything, a horse, a vine, is created for some duty. For what task, then, were you yourself created? A person’s true delight is to do the things they were made for.” —Marcus Aurelius Do you really know what you want? When you think about what you want, does it excite you? Does it scare you? Are you pursuing what you want? In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about why it’s scary to know what you want, and why that’s a good thing.
August 2, 2021
197 - What's Your Excuse?
“Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice–now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! […] Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do–now.” — Epictetus We all have events and challenges that happen in our lives. That what life is all about. When the stoics use the term Amor Fati, what they mean is to love your fate, to love and accept what life sends your way. How you feel about the events that happen to you in your life will not change if they are going to happen or not. They will happen. What thoughts you have around these events, how you feel about them, and how you respond to them are the only things that you have control over. If this is the case, why do we make excuses? Why do we come up with rationalizations about these how we do or don’t, especially when the rationalizations just make us feel worse about the actions we want to take anyway?
July 26, 2021
196 - How to Win an Argument
It is possible to curb your arrogance, to overcome pleasure and pain, to rise above your ambition, and to not be angry with stupid and ungrateful people — yes, even to care for them. — Marcus Aurelius How do you win an argument? All of us have to deal with conflict in our lives. To think otherwise is completely unrealistic. But when we have an argument, what is our goal? What do we hope to achieve? To change the other person’s mind? To prove that we are right? Today I want to talk about why we argue, and the best way to win an argument.
July 19, 2021
195 - Why You Should Care
“Humans exist for the sake of one another.” — Marcus Aurelius A few weeks ago I talked about being self-sovereign, that you are in 100% responsible for your choices and actions, and that you may live exactly the want to, regardless of the opinions of others. I got to thinking about it, and I wanted to cover another aspect of what it means to be self-sovereign. When you choose to live by your rules and values, it means that you are only controlling the things that you can control, and not trying to control those you can’t. But does this mean that you can ignore everyone around you and live in ways that are only helpful to you? Yes, you can. But does that mean that you should?
July 12, 2021
194 - Find Your Why
“So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?” — Marcus Aurelius One of the toughest things in life is to work at a job we don’t like. There are plenty of factors that can lead to job satisfaction. Many of them are outside of our control, but there are some that aren’t, and those are the most important ones because they can lead to true job satisfaction, and maybe to finding your purpose in life.
July 5, 2021
193 - 10,000 Kicks
“If something is difficult for you to accomplish, do not then think it impossible for any human being; rather, if it is humanly possible and corresponds to human nature, know that it is attainable by you as well.” — Marcus Aurelius What is the key to success? Why are some people able to achieve what they want while others languish? Today we’re going to talk about how Stoicism can help you to develop the skills it takes to reach your goals, and live your best life.
June 28, 2021
192 - Self-Sovereign
“Be content to seem what you really are.” — Marcus Aurelius One of the hardest things in our lives is to be completely honest with those around us. Why is that? Why do we hide parts of ourselves or lie about how we feel, especially with those we love the most? We are afraid of rejection. We are afraid of not belonging. We are afraid that if those closest to us really “knew” us, they would no longer love us. The need to fit in and belong is a powerful, almost primal one.
June 21, 2021
191 - Get Busy With Life's Purpose
“Get busy with life’s purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue — if you care for yourself at all — and do it while you can.” — Marcus Aurelius Does being a Stoic mean you can be apathetic? Does not reacting mean that you just give up? Because Stoicism is about controlling your response, it can easily seem that you just let things just happen and don’t take action. But to be a true Stoic, you are the opposite of apathetic. You are effective. By taking the time to choose your shot, you don’t waste time or energy on the things you can’t control. Often, we confuse action with actually doing something useful. Because Stoicism is about taking responsibility for ourselves, we need to be smart about the actions we choose. When we take the time to make a deliberate and well thought out choice. We want to be effective, not busy.
June 14, 2021
190 - The Stories We Tell Ourselves
“It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them.” — Marcus Aurelius How often do you find yourself upset over something someone said? Maybe you’re stressed out over something that is happened. Maybe it’s the opposite and you’re extremely excited about some event happening in your life. Whatever it is, every event that causes some kind of emotion for you is all driven by the story that you tell yourself.
May 31, 2021
189 - What You Are Capable Of
“I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent—no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.” – Seneca Have you ever thought about how much energy and effort we as humans put into seeking comfort and avoiding challenging things? So many things that we spend money on in our lives revolve around making things easier or more comfortable. Part of human evolution has been to seek comfort. We try to make things easier for ourselves. But in doing so, are we robbing ourselves of a chance to grow? In our search for convenience, do we end up weakening ourselves?