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Is journaling a useful Stoic practice? Some modern Stoics have certainly found it to be helpful. They’ve often taken inspiration from Marcus Aurelius, whose Meditations was effectively his own private journal in which he reflected on issues on his own life. What can a modern Stoic learn from Marcus’s journaling practices?
Downside to ambition
In one of his many memorable phrases, Seneca says that success is often won at the cost of life (Seneca, On the Shortness of life). By this he means that people work so hard in pursuit of success that they have no time left over for themselves, no time left over to do the things that really matter.
WHAT WOULD A STOIC DO?
We tend to be self-centred. We constantly wonder what I should do if I fall ill, if I get angry, if someone is angry at me, if I don’t have enough money, if my coworkers are jerks, if my boss embarrasses me in front of others, if I fail to get the job I want … But while we are busy thinking about ourselves, life presents us with situations that we are not prepared for. Now what? Modern Stoics respond to our last month’s picture, the burning image of the Notre Dame Cathedral.