The 5 Hindrances with Stoic Comments on Self-Mastery

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“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”

Marcel Proust

There is a mountain only you can climb. The mountain of your life.

I’ve always loved to explore. The best Saturdays I could have in my hometown back when I was a teenager consisted of putting on my ugly running shoes, filling my camelbak to the top, grabbing a couple of snacks from the kitchen, driving to the city’s outskirts, and running towards nowhere land.

Not knowing where I was heading was the fun…

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Has somebody received more honour than you at a feast or in a greeting or in receiving advice? If these things are appropriate, you should be happy they happen to that person. If they are inappropriate, then don’t be bothered that they don’t happen to you. Remember that you cannot claim the same things if you don’t do the same things to get what is not in our control. For how can somebody get the same things as someone who visits a man’s door frequently if he doesn’t visit the door frequently? Or get the same as someone who escorts…

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I love climbing up a good big and scary mountain. I hate, with all my heart though, the alpine morning. Waking up at 12 AM or 1 AM so that you can get to the summit by sunrise sucks hard. Sunrise is beautiful, there’s no denying that, but waking up cold in the middle of the night, trying to eat something when you aren’t remotely hungry, and waiting for your friends in the cold until they’re ready (and they take 50 hours), bah, not so fun.

I’m not a good regular sleeper either, I struggle to sleep even in my…

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From the point of view of the imminence of death, one thing counts, and one alone: to strive always to have the essential rules of life present in one’s mind, and to keep placing oneself in the fundamental disposition of the philosopher, which consists essentially in controlling one’s inner discourse, in doing only that which is of benefit to the human community, and in accepting the events brought to us by the course of the Nature of the All.
Pierre Hadot

I have to say, this Stoic paragraph from Pierre Hadot sounds a lot like Buddhism.

The Stoic Inner…

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” — Marcus Aurelius

Have you ever noticed the ridiculous amount of ‘men’ products in the beauty section of the supermarkets? It’s ridiculous and luring at the same time.

They are selling you manhood in the beauty section. My favorite wax has a pirate skull as a label. You tell me, do you really believe a pirate concerned himself as much with the way he looked? I really don’t think so.

It’s all about the sell though, and they are winning. Each time you buy Old Spice or…

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“You cannot imagine what sorrow and anger seize one’s whole soul when a great idea, which one has long and piously revered, is picked up by some bunglers and dragged into the street, to more fools like themselves, and one suddenly meets it in the flea market, unrecognizable, dirty, askew, absurdly presented, without proportion, without harmony, a toy for stupid children.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Demons

When I was a teenager, I believed deep in my soul I was going to be possessed by a dark entity.

It all began with a friend taking out of his pocket a small bag…

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If you haven’t read Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, go and read it now. Done? Awesome. So, the chapter that I like the most, was #5, when Billy meets the Englishmen.

The Englishmen were clean and enthusiastic and decent and strong. They sang boomingly well. They had been singing together every night for years.

The Englishmen had also been lifting weights and chinning themselves for years. Their bellies were like washboards. The muscles of their calves and upper arms were like cannonballs. They were all masters of checkers and chess and bridge and cribbage and dominoes and anagrams and charades…

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“Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost.”― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Not having money sucks hard. Tell me about it, I’ve experienced it first hand. Some time ago I had a beer brewery. It was kind of successful. It was very well known in my city. Sales were kind of good, but not good enough to support me. I wasn’t aware at the time of all the expenses that life requires other than weekend money.

I couldn’t pay for insurance, I couldn’t travel, I couldn’t help my family when they needed me, and…

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“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”— Mary Anne Radmacher on courage in 1985

I wake up (almost) every week day at 5:00 AM. It feels me with joy to know that I’ll have 5 hours for me, me, me. I meditate, exercise, have an amazing breakfast, and work deeply on my personal projects until I open the work computer for my 9–5 job.

It didn’t used to be this way though. Before this routine, I used to tell myself that I’d do the important…

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“An objection: ‘Are you telling me that a good man doesn’t become angry if he sees his father being murdered, his mother raped?’ No, he will not become angry, but he’ll be their champion and defender. Why are you afraid that a proper sense of devotion won’t goad him sufficiently, even without anger? … A good man will follow up his obligations undisturbed and undeterred, and in doing the things worthy of a good man he will do nothing unworthy of a man.” — Seneca, On Anger

I believe this is one of the hardest quotes from Stoicism. Imagining your…

Ricardo Guaderrama Caraveo

Mountaineer, writer, Stoic, Gryffindor.

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