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Go find a new rose, don't be afraid of the thorns
waxing philosophical pt.2
What’s up, y’all!
gnob has finally declared the Fairlady “DONE”! Woohoo! Next up is a photo shoot, then we’ll list it on an auction site. It’ll be on bringatrailer.com if you’re interested!😉
Once that car is sold, it’ll be Danny Bonaduce’s turn. You can see from the photo that he needs a bit more work. Probably the truck will run better when it has an engine and transmission back in it, don’t ya think? Though it looks very incomplete here, most of the parts are assembled and ready to be installed. I got the engine and tranny out in one day, wonder how long it will take to put it back together?
gnob has been very gracious and done quite a bit of the work for me lately, but I suppose I should get my butt back down there and help him finish MY project truck. It was my bright idea to drag that thing home, so it’s only fair. And many hands make light work, they say.
It’s been a challenge trying to start a business while getting rid of everything we own to move out of the country, but doing hard stuff makes you stronger. No pain, no gain. So we keep pushing the rock up the hill. *Note to self: do those things separately next time around. 😝
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What’s kept me going, among other things, is the wisdom of Stoicism. I mentioned it briefly last week, but I wanted to go into a little more depth this week.
First, I want to clarify that Stoicism is different than being “stoic”. Merriam-Webster defines stoic as, “not affected by passion or feeling; showing indifference to pain.” You may think of stoic as someone with a stiff upper lip.
Stoicism with a capital “S”, on the other hand, comes from the Painted Portico. In Athens, the philosopher Zeno taught at the Painted Portico, or Painted Porch. The word for porch in Greek is “stoa”, so the people who followed Zeno’s school of philosophy were called “Stoics”.
So what is a Stoic, then, if not stoic? It is a philosophy based on four cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance (moderation). If you’re interested in learning more about the cardinal virtues, Ryan Holiday is in the middle of writing a delightful series, one book for each virtue. And you can order copies from him directly at his bookstore in Texas, The Painted Porch. (sound familiar?)
Without further ado, here are five key Stoic thoughts that I keep in mind each day.
YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER ANYTHING EXTERNAL
“In our power are opinion, movement toward a thing, desire, aversion (turning from a thing); and in a word, whatever are our own acts: not in our power are the body, property, reputation, offices (magisterial power), and in a word, whatever are not our own acts.” (Epictetus. Enchiridion 1, Long)
What do you have control of? Only your thoughts and your reactions. That’s it. Once you understand that nothing external to you is under your control, it’s actually pretty liberating. Why waste energy worrying about things that you have no power over? Instead, focus on what you CAN control: your own reactions to external events.
GET BACK UP WHEN YOU FAIL
“Not to feel exasperated, or defeated, or despondent because your days aren’t packed with wise and moral actions. But to get back up when you fail, to celebrate behaving like a human – however imperfectly – and fully embrace the pursuit that you’ve embarked on.” (Meditations 5.9, Hays)
I love this quote from Marcus Aurelius. It reminds me of what Heroic’s Brian Johnson says constantly, “There are no perfect human beings, never have been. You and I, we’re not going to be the first, either.” I am an imperfect human being. I will fail sometimes, it’s part of being human. The key is to keep getting back up every time you get knocked down.
DON’T FEEL HARMED AND YOU HAVEN’T BEEN
“Remove the belief and ‘I’ve been harmed’ goes as well; remove ‘I’ve been harmed’ and the harm goes as well.” (Meditations 4.7, Waterfield)
This one blew my mind a little bit when I finally understood it. No one can hurt my feelings if I choose not to be hurt. Because yes, Virginia, you can choose not to feel hurt. Feeling hurt is having a reaction, and that happens to be the one thing that is under our control!
ACCEPT THINGS FOR THE WAY THEY ARE, NOT THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO BE
“Don't demand that things happen as you wish, but wish that they happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.” (Epictetus. Enchiridion 8, Carter)
If you accept all things as part of the journey, good or bad, then you can find satisfaction in whatever comes your way. You can say to yourself, “I’m on my path, and this obstacle is simply another step on the path that I have chosen.” Don’t concentrate on the end of your path, just on taking the next step, whatever lies before you.
YOU ARE GOING TO DIE
“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” (Meditations 2.11, Hays)
No one likes to hear it, but it’s true. You are going to die. Don’t put the important things off – none of us is promised a tomorrow.
Memento mori. Remember you will die. Don’t waste what you got.
Though this is by no means an extensive overview of Stoicism, I hope it gives you a better idea of why I’m always going on and on about it. Another Stoic mantra I tell myself quite often is, “two ears, one mouth”. It’s a reminder to listen more than I talk, so I think that’s my cue to shut up.
Have a great week, and drop me a comment if there’s anything you’d like to hear more about, whether it’s Stoicism, car repair, Costa Rica, or even jiu jitsu! (I took my first jiu jitsu class this week - it was great, but boy, was I sore the next day!)
Video of the Week
Finally started getting some new content out. Got another one out today, and there are still more on the way, so keep your eyes peeled! Oh, and make sure to like and subscribe! 😁
Quote of the Week
That wraps up another week with Snale Racing! We’ll leave you with the quote that was most powerful for us this week. Sometimes this one is incorrectly attributed to Maya Angelou, but she was quoting this country singer. Peace!✌
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