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The Strong Stoic Podcast
22 minutes | Aug 3, 2021
#95 - Pleasure Leads to Sorrow
One of the trends I've noticed throughout my lifetime is the increasing desire for pleasure. This is manifested in many different ways, from excessive partying to hook-up culture. Certainly, short-term pleasure is, well, pleasurable, but is it the best thing for you?Stoicism and Epicureanism share a significant amount of philosophical ideas, but a key difference is how they view pleasure. The Epicureans would say that pleasure is of utmost importance, whereas a Stoic would say that virtue must come first.But does that mean that pleasure, from a Stoic perspective is always wrong? In this episode, I discuss pleasure from both a Stoic and Epicurean perspective.
72 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
#94 - Kai Whiting: A Stoic View on Animals
Kai Whiting is a lecturer in sustainability and Stoicism, and the co-author of the book Being Better: Stoicism For a World Worth Living In. Today, we discuss the difficult topic of humanity's relationship with animals.Has the general hypocrisy in which we view animals ever crossed your mind? For example, we categorize pigs as "food" and dogs as "family", despite pigs and dogs being quite similar animals. In fact, pigs are generally more intelligent than dogs!What about the questionable multi-special relationships we see on TV, such as on Star Wars? Is this immoral? Certainly, many today would look at inter-special relationships as immoral, yet when we see this on TV we don't bat an eye.This conversation wasn't easy, nor will it be easy to listen to, but both myself and Kai deem this conversation as a necessary one for society. Enjoy!
20 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
#93 - Premeditatio Malorum
Many adopt philosophy because they want to live a care-free life with no stress, and nothing to worry about. Many modern Stoics, in particular, adopt Stoicism because they think it will make them "cool, calm, and collected."There is certainly value in this aspect of Stoicism (and philosophy in general), but life is much more complicated than that. In fact, an ancient Stoic practice is that of meditating on every possible thing that could go wrong. We can do this broadly in life, ensuring we don't go down a horrible path, but also more locally, such as with an upcoming work project.In this episode, I'll be talking about the practice of Premeditatio malorum - premeditation of evils.
21 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
#92 - Living With Less
Should you completely limit your ambitions and desires, or should you strive for excellence? Should you throw away your newest iPhone and get a flip phone, or should you eagerly await next years model?Such questions may seem simple, but they are far from it. In fact, finding the right balance (if a balance is even to be found) can be quite difficult. In this episode, I'll be talking about how to be content with what you have while taking no shame in success.
20 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
#91 - Socializing is Stoic
Many Stoics begin Stoicism because they believe it's all about "cool, calm' and collected" and staying home, oblivious to the outside world since, after all, it's "out of their control".Of course, those aspects of Stoicism is important, but a particular idea that often gets overlooked is that of being pro-social. Stoicism promotes being social for the same reason why we must be social for self-improvement - it helps us interact with the outside world in a way that we can enact a positive change.Today, I'll be talking about the pro-social aspects of Stoicism and self-improvement in general. So, go make some friends and engage with the world!
67 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
#90 - Daniel Vargas: The Stoic Sage Podcast
Today I have the privilege of talking with Daniel Vargas, who is the host of The Stoic Sage Podcast and owner of his corresponding Instagram page. Daniel's podcast centres around Stoicism, but his focus is on teaching people how to think as opposed to what to think, which is an approach I can certainly get behind.Today we talk about how to reconcile the issues of your past, how to choose a partner and have a good relationship, and much more. I hope you enjoy it, and please check out Daniel's podcast and Instagram page.
21 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
#89 - Let's Be Practical
Let's say you decide that you hate your job. It's not providing any meaning in your life and you know you need a change. Great! It's not great that you hate your job, but it's certainly great that you are aware that you hate your job.The only thing to do now is to storm into you boss's office and quit your job. But is that the wise approach? Is that the practical approach?We can talk all day about how things should be; we should all find meaning in our work, for example. However, we also must be wise and realize that we need to be practical throughout life. So, before you quit your job, join me in discussing how to first make sure it's practical.
19 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
#88 - The Second Act
Which kind of person are you: one who likes to re-watch and re-read fiction, or one who does not? Some absolutely love to re-watch their favourite movies. Others see it as a complete waste of time.If you have ever watched your favourite movie a second time, you'll quickly see that you notice more things the second time. Part of the reason is that you understand the overall story now, but another reason is that you are not the same person anymore! That's right: even though the film is the same, you have changed! In other words, you could say that you get more depth the second time around.So: Is it worth going back for a second act? A third? A millionth?
18 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
#87 - I Was An Ass
If you're a fan of this podcast, you're likely a fan of self-improvement. It is a core theme. There's an interesting thing, though, that happens when we get better; our past self gets worse!Yes, as our current self improves, we are bound to look back and find things in our past behaviour which makes us cringe. I'm sure I'm not the only one that gets embarrassed sometimes just thinking about something I said when I was 15. This can be a burden, but it doesn't have to be! The alternative, after all, is not improving at all, and that will surely lead to depression. In this episode, I'll be talking about how to come to terms with the mistakes your past-self made.
73 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
#86 - Kai Whiting and Practical Stoicism
In this episode, I have the privilege of speaking with Dr. Kai Whiting who is a lecturer and researcher in sustainability and Stoicism. Kai also just released a book, Being Better: Stoicism For A World Worth Living In, which he co-authored with Leonidas Konstantakos. One of my core values with this podcast is keeping it open to discuss any topic, especially those that may not be the easiest to discuss (or hear). Myself and Kai definitely test those boundaries. We cover Stoicism (including the not-so-nice bits), ideologies, relationships of all sexualities, the moment when everything changed for Kai, etc. Life isn't always easy, but Stoicism is a great model for how to navigate that complexity. My hope is that we demonstrate that through this discussion.
18 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
#85 - The BEST Assumption
Assumptions are generally not good; they leave you vulnerable. Imagine, for example, that you are crossing the road and you assume there are no cars coming. Guess what? You could easily find yourself in a hospital shortly after.However, in life, sometimes we need assumptions. In fact, some assumptions are fundamental to life. It's also worth pointing out that we see whatever we aim at, which is a useful philosophical idea to know. This may sound metaphysical, but it's really not. In today's episode, I'll be discussing why you need to be careful with what you are aiming at and the assumption that you should absolutely be making to live the best possible life.
16 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
#84 - Fear The Sun
If I could give you everything you've ever wanted right now, would you accept it? I'm not talking about material things like cars and cool looking key chains. No, I'm talking about the things that really matter in life: a loving partner, great kids, meaningful work, etc.We should all fear the darkness inside of us, however, we often fail to recognize that we also fear our light. We find ways to self-sabotage more frequently than we may think. The question is: why? This episode will talk about the idea of fearing the ultimate good in life.
16 minutes | Jun 22, 2021
#83 - One More Light
"Who cares if one more light goes out in a sky of a million stars? Who cares if someone's time runs out if a moment is all we are?"I'm sure we've all thought similar thoughts before. What is the purpose of life if it comes to an end? Why does one life matter if there are billions others? Such questions are easy to contemplate in the face of such a tragic life. Truly, there is only one response: to care anyway.In this episode, I'll be discussing the tragedy of life and why you should be happy and find meaning despite that.
18 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
#82 - Memento Mori
Memento mori translates as something like "remember that you will die". I'm sure many people, upon first finding Stoicism, think of this as quite the depressing statement. However, there's a lot to unpack with meditating on one's mortality.Death comes to us all, and so the acceptance of one's death is an invaluable thing for living a good life. It's not just the accepting that matters though; in fact, memento mori should scare you into action. It should push you to do whatever you want in life and to not put too much emphasis on what other people think. Join me in this episode as I discuss the lovely topic of death.
22 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
#81 - Embrace Your Inner Nerd
Are you a nerd? "No, of course not!" you may think. Or maybe you're thinking "hell yes!". The very word - nerd - can cause embarrassment and/or pride depending on who you're talking to. Though high school probably made you believe that being a nerd is something worth being picked on for, I beg to differ! Being a nerd is great, and we should all work on embracing our inner nerd. Listen in on this episode to understand why!
22 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
#80 - Be An Artist
What do you think about when you think of art? Is it famous paintings and sculptures? Or perhaps it's some modern abstract compilations?Actually, art is a very broad term. It's hard to define, truly. Perhaps we can say it is "the expression of beauty" or "the expression of the soul." In any case, art should play at least some part in your life. In fact, I would argue that you should aim to be an artist of some kind. So, if you're looking to get creative and feel the muse, check out this episode!
22 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
#79 - In The Blood
What's more powerful: nature or nurture? Is it always in the blood, or can we wash it out in the water? Fortunately for us, modern neuroscience sheds some much-needed light on this question.We now understand that, generally speaking, who we are is 50% nature and 50% nurture. Though, each specific trait isn't half, and it can vary considerably! In fact, the better way of thinking about it is that nature provides the potential in the world while nurture manifests this potential. In this episode, I'll be going over the tangly question of: is who I am within my control?
20 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
#78 - Unethical Acts
Virtue and justice are two of the four pillars of Stoicism. In fact, it's a core idea in many philosophies, though they don't all agree on what that really means. Aiming for the good is, well, good! However, is there ever a situation in which doing an "unethical act" is actually ethical?Life is bloody complicated; that much is for sure. The line between moral acts and immoral acts isn't exactly black and white. How, then, do we know if an act is truly ethical? What criteria can we use in such ethical grey areas? These are the questions I will be addressing in this episode.
69 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
#77 - Renaissance Wisdom with Shane Sorensen
Today I have the privilege of speaking with Shane from Renaissance Wisdom. Shane runs a popular Instagram page titled "Renaissance Wisdom" where he shares ancient philosophical wisdom. He also provides his personal input and analysis to many of the ideas so that they can be applied to modern life.Shane is also an author. He is currently writing a book with a focus on the importance of personal responsibility and how to find eudaemonia - the flourishing life. If you enjoyed the conversation, please look him up on his Instagram page and also check out his website at https://www.renaissance-wisdom.com.
20 minutes | May 27, 2021
#76 - Self-Reliance
One of the key moments in our history and our individual lives is the moment we become conscious of our individual power. It wasn't always this way! There were points in time when people relied on external dogma - such as religion - to determine what is right and wrong.Would it surprise you to know that we are actually heading back towards this Group Think?That's right: we are losing the ability to critically think for ourselves and instead are becoming more and more consumed by ideology and the "mob mentality". So, what do we do? In this episode, I'll be discussing the importance of self-reliance and what it really means to be great.
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