So you’re a coward?
Good. Now you have something to work with.
Yesterday I saw Jocko Willink’s “Good” video, again. It’s so good, especially because of the funny comments. So, the main idea of the video is that no matter what happens, you’ll always say “good”. You’ll always find a way to go around your problems, or through them. No matter what, you’ll always say “good”. This is Stoic philosophy on steroids. Saying “good” to any situation you have to deal with is what the Stoics refer to as courage, one of the four stoic cardinal virtues. Marcus Aurelius coins it pretty good:
“Our actions may be impeded, but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions (“good”). Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” — Marcus Aurelius
Didn’t got the promotion you wanted so much? Good, to time to get better.
You proposed and she said no? Good, time to step up your game.
Now, the “good” thing gives itself to some pretty funny comments. As taken from some comments on YouTube:
Erectile dysfunction?…Good. More time to cuddle. — Ceri07
Ran out of toilet paper “Good” Use the cat… —
Wife just told me her great — grandma died, tried it, she didn’t like it —
That last comment was obvious. Just don’t say good whenever something horrible happens. You don’t have to say good in those situations. However, you do have to respond with a positive yes towards what comes next, towards the obstacles and the processes you need to go through in order for you and your loved ones to feel better. That’s what courage is all about, no matter what, you always choose to stand up and get on the ring of life again, or dance, whichever way you want to see it.
But then again… saying good, to most things in life, will always leave you better off. The obstacle is the way, there is no way around it. Saying “good” will put you in the right mindset again.
“Courage is not an ability one either possesses or lacks. Courage is the willingness to engage in a risk-taking behavior regardless of whether the consequences are unknown or possibly adverse. We are capable of courageous behavior provided we are willing to engage in it. Given that life offers few guarantees, all living requires risk-taking.” — Alfred Alder
Thanks for reading,
Subscribe and receive the Askesis (practice) e-book for free to further develop your practice of stoicism.