Earlier this week, I was listening to Tim Ferris and Ryan Holiday discuss current events from a stoic perspective, an ancient philosophy both have adopted.
One thought kept coming to my mind -- history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes.
As our society blindly stumbles forward, it's easy to forget mankind has been through this experience many times before, even if we ourselves have not.
Instead of the latest news update or trendy pick atop the New York Times Bestseller list, this is an opportunity to look back at ideas that have stood the test of time.
Stoicism was developed during the Greco-Roman era, yet it's still prevalent today. Our technology has advanced, the human condition has not.
I'm currently reading Meditations by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Aurelius, the final emperor of the Pax Romana, was a disciplined practitioner of stoicism. Despite facing down multiple wars, betrayals, and health issues (including rumors of his demise) he lived a diligent and faithful life of service. His thoughts remain relevant for individuals and leaders today.
Similarly, Shakespeare's plays are timeless for their ability to illuminate and capture the human spirit. Thus we continue to imitate him in modern works such as 10 Things I Hate About You (based on The Taming of the Shrew).
The best part? You can find them for free: https://www.gutenberg.org/
Interestingly, their #6 most downloaded Ebook yesterday was A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe. Written in 1722, it recounts a man's experiences living through the bubonic plague in the Great Plague of London.
As we navigate through current events, let's learn from those who have been there before.
The Planning Fallacy in Real Life
Last week, I wrote about the Planning Fallacy. It states we consistently underestimate the time and effort to complete a task, even if we've done it before.
Saturday provided a perfect case study.
Tiffany realized how boring her office wall was courtesy of all these recent Zoom calls. The answer? Peel-and-stick wallpaper.
One or two hours she said... Five and a half hours later, the wall was done. Before we started, I was joking about the planning fallacy and how we needed a 3x multiplier in the estimated time. I should've guessed higher.
For our laundry room, she's still deciding between wallpaper or a DIY paint project. Personally, I think the DIY wall would be a great way to showcase her talents. =)
On A Lighter Note
Due to current events, my brother and his two boys are staying at my house. Clearly, my dogs are living their best lives.
I received this text from my nephew yesterday:
Quote I'm thinking about:
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
– Helen Keller
I've used this one before, but it spoke to me when I stumbled across it today.
Until next week, God bless -- stay safe, sane, and intentional.