The Daily Stoic
You’re smart. You’re experienced. You’ve made a bunch of money. You have a few prestigious letters before or after your name.
You’re a citizen of this country or that one. You’re got an impressive physique. You have a large following.
We can start to feel pretty good about ourselves… and then life has a way of reminding us how meaningless these things really are.
Seneca was the brightest mind of his era, from an important family, totally innocent, and then bam, exiled by Claudius. Theodore Roosevelt was happy as could be, and then boom, the light went out of his life. Zeno was in the prime of his merchant career when a shipwreck drove him out of business. Marcus Aurelius was chosen out of nowhere to be emperor…and then out of nowhere a plague disrupted all his plansfor a philosophical and peaceful reign.
It doesn’t matter how smart or experienced or rich you are. Your job title or your ambitions or the size of your fan base doesn’t matter. Life can humble you. Life will humble you.
Nothing insulates you from getting dumped or dumped on. Nothing exempts you from pain or pandemics. No one can promise you ease or safety, no insurance or government can make you whole.
You are not powerful. Not of us are. Everyone is at the mercy of events. All we control is how we respond. All that’s up to us is what we do next.