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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

On Our "Virtual Route 66" As a New Quarter Dawns...


Welcome to a new Quarter here at the Daily Outsider.

We present the following #RandomThoughts for consideration.


Marcus, as he got older, had to learn how to be “full of love” as he would say. He had to see the good in people. He could not let his heart grow hard, as we’ve said, instead, he had to learn to strengthen it like the muscle that it was—so he could use it. That’s what leaders do. They have to care–practically, personally, professionally.

What about you? How are you strengthening that muscle—particularly in these difficult times? Has command or power made you cynical? Or are you working on becoming more conscientious and caring? Not because you have to, but because you know that to be great, to reach your potential as a parent, a partner, a creator, a friend, a human being…

— The Heart is a Muscle (Listen)


In one of the most watched videos on the Daily Stoic YouTube Channel this week, Ryan Holiday shares some Stoic strategies that will make you happier, such as:

“I once heard the billionaire Peter Thiel say that you want to look for pleasures that don’t have diminishing returns…Sunsets, sunrises, playing with my kids—these are things I never get tired of. But chasing the newest thing, buying a new car, buying something fancy—these get old really quickly. So the Stoics would say to try to find pleasure and happiness in the simple things.”

Watch the full video: How Stoicism Can Make You Happier


On the Daily Stoic podcast this week, Ryan Holiday talks to Steve Magness about his new book Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness, the misconceptions about military commanders and strict parents, how to cultivate and retain talent, and training the mental muscle required to get through difficulty in life,

“It’s absolutely a muscle, it’s a mental muscle. The research backs this up: if we train that discipline, that self-control, that ability to sit with difficulty and navigate through it, it helps in other aspects of life. So in my life, I cultivate that mental muscle through physical practice. When I was growing up, I was a competitive runner. I don’t push it as much any more, but at least once a week, I do something that pushes the bounds of my physical ability, that forces me to sit with that situation where part of my mind screaming to slow down or rationalizing why I should give up.”

Listen to the full interview: Steve Magness On Doing Hard Things and Why We Get Resilience Wrong


“The stakes are high but I wouldn’t have it any other way. In the kitchen, jittery and pumped up just before the curtains rise, I’m in my element. I am the son of a caterer, and ever-expanding parties are my birthright. I remember my mother’s outward calm when a client would call to say the party just doubled in size, moments before she loaded chafing trays of mesquite chicken wings and jollof rice into her van. Catering is like low-grade war games: hope for the best, prepare for the worst. So I prepare for nearly every eventuality. I’m so organized my systems have systems. A successful kitchen runs on plastic quart containers and paper towels, strips of tape and Sharpies. On the doors of my fridges are taped elaborate spreadsheets breaking down each dish into its component parts and assigning each element to a team member. Now I just have to trust the system.“

— Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir by Kwame Onwuachi


Only the educated are free

Why do you read this email? Why do you read books?

Because you are learning how to live. Because you want to be freer, fear less, and achieve a state of peace. Education—reading and meditating on the wisdom of great minds—is not to be done for its own sake. It has a purpose. As Epictetus said,

“What is the fruit of these teachings? Only the most beautiful and proper harvest of the truly educated—tranquility, fearlessness, and freedom. We should not trust the masses who say only the free can be educated, but rather the lovers of wisdom who say that only the educated are free.”

Remember that imperative on the days you start to feel distracted, when watching television or having a snack seems like a better use of your time than reading or studying philosophy. Knowledge—self-knowledge in particular—is freedom.

(For another reason to read and study, watch this video!)


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