If It’s Not Simple

We overcomplicate things, we tell ourselves it's just complicated. Have you ever stop to think why? Does it have to be this way? Is “the way we’ve always done it” the best way? Is the complexity there to keep me (us) confused to ensure those in the know stay that way? If you can't explain something to someone (even an 8 yr old) you don't understand it that well yourself. On this episode we go down the road of this thinking, inspired by an article from The Daily Stoic. Join us and learn to cut the BULLSHIT!

Daily Stoic Original Article

There’s not much in Stoicism that’s particularly groundbreaking: Focus on what you can control. Be a good person. Manage your emotions.

A lot of the famous Stoic quotes are pretty basic too:

Epictetus: “It’s not things that upset us, it’s our judgment about things.”

Marcus Aurelius: “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

Seneca: “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality”

The elementary school-level simplicity isn’t a bug. It’s a feature.

There’s a great line in Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle:

“Dr. Hoenikker used to say that any scientist who couldn’t explain to an eight-year-old what he was doing was a charlatan.”

A lot of complicated stuff isn’t actually complicated…it’s made to seem that way so no one will notice that it’s actually bullshit. A lot of philosophy is badly written…because if it wasn’t, people would actually understand what the “philosopher” was saying and laugh them out of a job.

What the Stoic writings are about is not impressing anyone, nor making the reader feel like a genius for getting all the way through. No, they are designed to be short and to the point. No puffery. No throat-clearing. Using the absolute minimum number of words to make the most straightforward point.

We might call this counter-signaling, or better, a show of confidence. When you’ve got the goods, you don’t need to dress it up or make a hard sell. Just lay it out and let people take it or leave it.

So it should go for us, in all aspects of our lives. No obfuscation. No dog and pony show. No sound and fury. Just do the work, be the best version of yourself you can be, and people can take it or leave it.

 

This article was originally published here on DailyStoic.com
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Daily Stoic

Visit the Daily Stoic for a better understanding of  Stoicism, an ancient philosophy used by everyone from George Washington to the New England Patriots as a source of much-needed strength and stamina for their challenging lives.

New to Stoicism? They have a great 7-day introduction to help you get a better understanding. This highly curated 7-Day Guide will expand your knowledge and provide actionable tools and ideas to make you stronger, more resilient and happier. You will get an introduction to Stoicism, curated list of resources, Stoic exercises, a guide to help you through adversity and much more!

Check it out here 7-Day Guide

The Daily Stoic:

366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.

Why have history's greatest minds—from George Washington to Frederick the Great to Ralph Waldo Emerson, along with today's top performers from Super Bowl-winning football coaches to CEOs and celebrities—embraced the wisdom of the ancient Stoics? Because they realize that the most valuable wisdom is timeless and that philosophy is for living a better life, not a classroom exercise.

The Daily Stoic offers 366 days of Stoic insights and exercises, featuring all-new translations from the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright Seneca, or slave-turned-philosopher Epictetus, as well as lesser-known luminaries like Zeno, Cleanthes, and Musonius Rufus. Every day of the year you'll find one of their pithy, powerful quotations, as well as historical anecdotes, provocative commentary, and a helpful glossary of Greek terms.

By following these teachings over the course of a year (and, indeed, for years to come) you'll find the serenity, self-knowledge, and resilience you need to live well.

The Daily Stoic Journal:

366 Days of Writing and Reflection on the Art of Living

For more than two thousand years, Stoic philosophy has been the secret operating system of wise leaders, artists, athletes, brilliant thinkers, and ordinary citizens. With the acclaimed, bestselling books The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy and The Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman have helped to bring the Stoicism of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus to hundreds of thousands of new readers all over the world.

Now Holiday and Hanselman are back with The Daily Stoic Journal, a beautifully designed hardcover journal that features space for morning and evening notes, along with advice for integrating this ancient philosophy into our 21st century lives. Each week readers will discover a specific powerful Stoic practice, explained and presented with related quotations to inspire deeper reflection and application, and each day they will answer a powerful question to help gauge their progress.

Created with a durable, Smyth-sewn binding and featuring a helpful introduction explaining the various Stoic tools of self-management, as well as resources for further reading, this is a lasting companion volume for people who already love The Daily Stoic and its popular daily emails and social media accounts. It can also be used as a stand-alone journal, even if you haven’t read the previous books.

For anyone seeking inner peace, clarity, and effectiveness in our crazy world, this book will help them immensely for the next year—and for the rest of their lives.

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