Month: August 2018

Modern problems, Psychology, Self development, Stoic advice, Uncategorized

Walk the talk

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I hadn’t really understood, in my heart, what Ryan Holiday meant with the title of his egobook: The ego is the enemy. I have to admit that I was hesitant of reading it when it first came out. The obstacle is the way, was fantastic so I did push myself to buy it and give it a go. At first, I couldn’t conceive the notion of having my ego as an enemy, the idea of having a war with my ego seemed like having a war with “me”, and if I had a war with “me”, then insanity would be just around the corner. It almost seemed as if you had to hate yourself, being yourself the enemy. Bit Schizophrenic isn’t it? Later I began to understand what the Ego is and realized that I could not rationally call the Ego “myself”.

Ryan defines the ego as “an unhealthy belief in our own importance. Arrogance. Self-centered ambition.” The need to be better than, more than, recognized for, far past any reasonable utility—that’s ego.

The ego can be compared to a child inside ourselves. A winning and detestable child, desperate for attention and willing to do anything to obtain it. This child thinks the whole world revolves around him and demands all eyes to direct their attention to him. He acts for attention, approval, and validation and to assure his feeling of greatness. He also believes in his heart that he deserves it. He feels entitled to attention and therefore becomes mad when he does not get it (anxiety levels are soaring). This way of being, obviously, is prejudicial as it separates the person from reality.

If you think you deserve greatness, why would you have to actually work for it? When you are trying to prove you are smart, you are more concerned about appearing to be smart than on actually being smart and doing the things that make up for a smart person and that right there, is the problem.

The ego functions by searching for ways to assure himself that he is great. Our times are great for this indeed! All of our inner spoiled brats have to do is upload a photo of some nicely crafted Tacos on Instagram and get hearts and validation as if it were his! This reminds me of the following stoic phrase.

Don’t be prideful with any excellence that is not your own. If a horse should be 12_cabecera_1prideful and say, ” I am handsome,” it would be supportable. But when you are prideful, and say, ” I have a handsome horse,” know that you are proud of what is, in fact, only the good of the horse. What, then, is your own? Only your reaction to the appearances of things. Thus, when you behave conformably to nature in reaction to how things appear, you will be proud with reason; for you will take pride in some good of your own. Epictetus

Sorry, but no, you should not take praise in the Tacos picture.

This is why the ego is the enemy. The aim of the ego is validation, it does not concern with doing the work that will actually get him where it wants.

Facts are better than dreams said, Winston Churchill.

Because we will be action and education focused, and forgo validation and status, our ambition will not be grandiose but iterative—one foot in front of the other, learning and growing and putting in the time. Ryan Holiday

God, exactly. Instead of trying to prove you are smart or brave. Focus on being smart andwittgenstein1 L brave, this can be achieved by action and by learning. Instead of trying to prove something focus better on growing and becoming something. No time in your life must be regarded as “someday”. All you have is right now. Every tiny action is in fact monumental. Walk the talk, my friend.

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Conquering Fears, Modern problems, philosophy, Self development, Stoic advice, Uncategorized

Breaking free from social media slavery


I’ve been wondering lately, what does it really mean according to nature?

There is a superbly grotesque episode in Black Mirror that depicts the perfect world of girl black mirrorsocial validation, at its purest. The episode depicts the story of a girl living in this socially “impeccable” world and her struggle in trying to belong. “Belonging” is measured just like in Uber, you get reviews from your peers for every social interaction you have, it can be one up to 5 stars. This, obviously creates a world of falsehood in which every person only cares about the “person” she or he is in this social app.

This episode is obviously based on our current social reality in which our care goes directly into the person or identity that we believe we are and that is constantly reinforced or punished through social media. Directly measured through the number of likes or hearts we get on Instagram or Facebook. Manic.

social mediaI found this new social situation quite angering, to be honest. Our need for belonging is very extreme, just look at how much we care! And it is being exploited without the tiniest bit of shame.

Who are we when we are not so preoccupied with “striving to be the identity we have created for ourselves in social media”?

Is there anything real left in us living this way? What about every other aspect of our lives? Like when we wake up in the morning and see ourselves in the mirror, pretty ugly-looking? Or when we eat alone and clean our hands in our pants? Or when we are alone in our room, raining outside, thinking nostalgically about our existence here? Is it really so bad to try to be the person we strive to be in social media? I mean, at least we have an idea of what we should be and fight to attain it? Fake it til you make it? I don’t think so.

The problem with social media is that the identity created there is as fake as a player in a video game. A player in a video game reveal “just” a few things. Typically, the desirable attributes, like courage or handsomeness and charm. It is specially crafted to be “ideal”.

A human being is an extremely complex creature. We cry, we love, and we are sad about things that should make us happy. We are so much more complex than the simplistic identity we figure ourselves to be in social media, and we forget or want to forget it because of “likes and hearts”.

The person in social media feeds itself of social validation, therefore, the end and the goal of the identity created in social media is validation itself, everything else is used as a mean in obtaining this precious validation. Hence, any activity of the real life is used as a means for obtaining the validation our social persona needs to feed.

When you go out and eat, supposing you are living through this social facade, which I’m instagramsure you are, at least sometimes, you are not really eating and conversing, you are thinking about the socially reinforced idea of how your food and hell, even your conversation should look like. You are forcing it. You are not letting the conversation or reality happen because you expect it to be some predetermined way. There is nothing original here, just an aspiring to do something, never actually doing something. 


This is just the opposite of living according to nature. Nature does not aspire to be stuff as we do, nature just is stuff, and nature “is” magnificently.


This mountain is not bothering about how to be a mountain, it just is a mountain, just look at the good job it is doing.

How can you aspire to be a good carpenter if you are not doing the job, but instead thinking about how you look while being a carpenter? Do you guess you need equipment or a good carpenter “look” for a good selfie to be a good carpenter, no, what you need is to work on the wood and do it right.

The end of nature is the action itself, not how you look or what others think while doing2700 it. The end in your life should be your every moment and yourself, not the non-existent facade we manufacture every moment. All must be accepted, flaws and boredom, joy and

sadness, real is always better than fake.

This practice is extremely hard because it is now something that we don’t do naturally. When we eat, when we chat, when we socialize, we are no longer there. Everything has become a means to the end of satisfying the social validation need of our fake personas.

We are in the age of anxiety and suicide because of this. But there is a way out, which is quite simple, and it is making our life the end, not the means.

Nature is constantly growing. Imitate it. Focus your attention on what you are doing, be it working, having a conversation, having fun, exercising or writing and let what may need to happen, happen. Do not focus on how you look, but how you do and are what you are doing.

Every moment and everything that you are making is infinitely more important than the need to post it. Learn this, and you’ll be free again.

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

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Let’s use social media for something helpful, shall we? Help the world by spreading Stoicism, pay just $9 and gift a Mexico City person a copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I’ll send you an email so you can write a personal message and the photo will be uploaded to the Stoic Answers page.


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