You have to lose to learn

Two days ago, I was taking the bus to work. I was hearing some song from Emancipator broken-phone-contractwaiting for the next bus to arrive at the station. When it finally arrived, one of the doors was stuck and made the passing annoyingly difficult. There were several people waiting to get it in, so the process to do it was not pretty. Naturally, I had to push a little aggressively to get in as I was also in a hurry. When I got on the bus I realized I wasn’t hearing music anymore, my phone (apparently) got hooked with something or someone and fell into the bus rails, then, some guy jumped to the rails, took the phone and started running like a madman. I didn’t know at the moment that I had to lose to learn.

My phone fell from my pocket, landed on the rails and then got stolen by some guy.

Living in Mexico’s city is not easy nor enjoyable without a Maps app. It’s really, really big and getting to places isn’t easy.

Imagine what I went through at the moment. Anger, despair, fear, hopelessness, just to mention some of the emotions I felt.

I felt as Ryan Holiday would say: “The pestilence of panic”.

It is in this moments in which stoicism becomes what it truly is, a tool, a mindset. A tool to manage through life’s difficult situations. Panic is a hard emotion to handle, it numbs you from acting rationally. At that moment,  however, I started thinking stoically (thank logos).

  • What is it directly under my control right now?
  • What is the best way to act?
  • Is it rational to give in to emotion right now?

Stoicism is a marvelous tool. If you really think about it, we always know what the “next step” is. It’s a matter of acting courageously on it.

When you’re scared you get numbed. By doing this, however, you shoot yourself in theEdvard-Much-painting-Two-Friends-stolen-in-Malmo-Sweden-Slover-Linett-blog foot, because, by not doing what needs to get done, things are not getting better, they are getting worse.

You have to say GOOD, whenever anything happens.

Panic and fear are never good ideas providers, it’s difficult to calm yourself down and act rationally, but that is precisely what will make things better.

Inaction creates more problems. Action creates advancement and solution.

What stands in the way becomes the way

Marcus Aurelius

Today, As I awoke, I started thinking about all of the negative feedback I had in the previous days. I lost count of how many times I got called an idiot for losing my phone.

The problem comes when you start to believe this, the first day, I was embarrassed and I did felt like an idiot, but I kept aggressively concentrating in that which was under my control, again, not easy, but doable.

Concentrate on the next action do it and then do the next one, that is the way to go. If you do this, you’ll not even have time to mourn yourself as you’ll be busy, actually getting shit done.

I have to say, I’m actually quite glad that I read Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. They are great men, men of action, men of wisdom and men whom I trust. Stoicism is a tool, it really has helped me go through many situations in my life in the best way imaginable. This made me think that many people do not have this marvelous psychologic tool to use in their lives. That’s why you hear so much negative feedback instead of actionable feedback. “You are an idiot” will do nothing to fix something, “what are your options?”, is way better.

If you have to fix a chair, It’s way better to have a hammer and nails. It will make the whole process easier. This is the same with stoicism. If you are going to live, it is way better to have a philosophy that helps you, rather than a mindset that hinders you.

This whole situation taught me many things I had forgotten.

  • People mean good, just that they don’t know what the best ways are, you do.
  • Your best bet is to trust yourself to do everything in your power to fix things.
  • Taking action feels “not great” in the short term and “fucking great” in the long term.
  • Trust the great men, almost nobody reads them (at least in my experience) so be prepared to figure your way in solitude.

There is a gift in everything my friends, it may be difficult to grasp it at first, but trust yourself and you’ll find it.

Ricardo Guaderrama 20171003_180742

Master brewer at Querida Catalina, ultrarunner and stoic.

 

Stoic answers aim is to provide answers to the deepest human questions, which sadly, are almost always never asked.

Subscribe and receive for free the Askesis ebook to further develop your practice of stoicism. 

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Jocko Willink on Amor Fati

“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it… but love it.”

Friederich Nietzche

Amor Fati is a complex and difficult concept to grasp, much more to accept. To love everything that happens seems counterintuitive when you first hear about it, but it’s the simply greatest piece of advice we can follow.

  • Love the fact that you and everyone you know is going to die.
  • Love getting fired.
  • Love feeling tired and having to work still.
  • Love your hangovers.

Not only being grateful but to actually love it.

Why do Amor fati works?

It works because it turns calamity upside down. It turns problems and adversities into blessings, blessings we welcome out of our own accord. This, obviously, requires mental strength, nobody is denying that. It requires to be strong enough to think logically and to boldly accept whatever situation or circumstance befalls upon us.

By loving everything that happens to you, you are preparing yourself to improve life and yourself in the process. You are changing your perception, the one thing that is within your power.

Intellect (perception)

Intellect has made of us the most dangerous and advanced creature on earth. Intellect is the power to bend perception to your benefit, to understand reality in a higher order. Currently, there is no stronger force in the planet than our capacity to mold reality to our benefit and this is where dear Jocko enters into the equation. In the next video, you’ll understand why:

This is Amor Fati at its best, it almost seems as a sort of twisted perversion, coming from Jocko, but it does the job nevertheless. Accept everything that happens, love it, for it is the seed of opportunity.

Life is dynamic

There is no “rest” in life. When you are sleeping, you are breathing, dreaming, digesting, you are always moving and changing. Amor Fati is accepting this reality, the reality that change is always happening and that reality will not stay static.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

― Winston S. Churchill

By saying “good” you are already preparing yourself for the next step. You are already looking for the lesson that you can learn from the bad experience. This is how Amor Fati becomes priceless advice.

Become Frictionless

Amor Fati enforces you to become frictionless.

What do I mean by frictionless?

The moment you say “good”, you are already preparing yourself for the next round. In life you are going to go as far as you decide. Things need to get done, whatever happens, things need to get done. When something bad happens, like not getting promoted or not getting the funding you expected, there are two ways of dealing with it, with friction, or without friction.

Friction

This is focusing on the problem and on the “why” it can not be fixed, dreading it (not loving it). This, obviously creates frction, it creates friction on your endevours because you will be stuck for a while. You will be stuck until you realize the frictionless amor fati mode.

Frictionless Amor Fati

You could say, that living according to nature is living in a dynamic mode, just as life is. When you say “good” to a problem or situation and you focus on your next step you are moving forward with life. This is going with life instead of against life. 

 

 

 

The Ubermensch

The Ubermensch from Nietzche has to be Amor Fati exemplified, there is no higher order for a human being than living in accordance to the higher order which is nature. Fortunately, this superpower is available to every human being.

Love life, be strong, say “good” more often.

 

Written by

Ricardo Guaderrama 20171003_180742

Master brewer at Querida Catalina, ultrarunner and stoic.

 

Stoic answers aim is to provide answers to the deepest human questions, which sadly, are almost always never asked.

Subscribe and receive for free the Askesis ebook to further develop your practice of stoicism. 

Subscribe here

Visit our Patreon page for more stoic, Patreon only content. Thanks.

Donation for the cause

A stoic boldly leaps into life, he does not question himself whether to act or not, the decision has already been made, we want to help you become a stoic. Thanks for the support

$3.00

 

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