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The Daily Stoic / A Measure Of Greatness | Accepting What Is | The Daily Stoic

A Measure Of Greatness | Accepting What Is | The Daily Stoic

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In this episode of “The Daily Stoic,” the focus is on the measure of greatness and accepting what is. The hosts discuss how Stoicism can make people braver, smarter, and kinder, and how adhering to Stoic principles can help individuals avoid corruption from power and success. They also highlight the reopening of the course “Stoicism, Ancient Philosophy for your actual life,” which offers valuable insights from Stoic wisdom. Additionally, the hosts delve into the concept of gratitude and acceptance, as well as the relevance of the Serenity Prayer and the tragic life of Epictetus. The episode concludes with a call to challenge and debate the wisdom of the Stoics while taking action in challenging situations.

Main Takeaways

Measuring Greatness

  • Marcus Aurelius’ greatness is measured by how well he and his philosophy held up under impossible circumstances as the Emperor.

The Impact of Stoicism

  • Stoicism doesn’t make people perfect, but it makes them braver, smarter, and kinder.
  • People who adhere to stoicism seem to do much better at not being corrupted by power and success than those who don’t.

Benefits of Learning Stoicism

  • Learning about stoicism is a good thing, and there’s always something to be gained from it.
  • The course “Stoicism, Ancient Philosophy for your actual life” has reopened and offers the best of Stoic wisdom in 14 days.

Gratitude and Acceptance

  • Stoics wanted us to be grateful and happy with what is, not just accepting it.
  • Epic Titus taught that we get a well-flowing life when we wish for what is going to happen, not for what we want to happen.
  • Marcus Aurelius adds that we should meet anything that comes our way with gratitude.

The Serenity Prayer

  • The Serenity Prayer was composed in the 1930s and has become a big part of the recovery movement.
  • The Serenity Prayer is a perfect encapsulation of wisdom that feels current and fresh, yet ageless and timeless.

Epictetus’ Life and Acceptance

  • Epictetus’ name means enslaved, and he had a tragic and painful life, but he never questioned whether any of it was right or fair.
  • The Stoics are mostly right that so much of what happens in this world is outside of our control, and we should accept it without whining or wishing it was otherwise.
  • However, Epictetus’ acceptance of profound injustices should not be misinterpreted as rationalization or acceptance.

Challenging Stoic Wisdom

  • It’s important to focus on what we’re going to do about the situations we find ourselves in and to challenge and debate the wisdom of the Stoics.


Understanding Greatness and Stoicism

Marcus Aurelius’ greatness is not solely based on his position as Emperor, but rather on how well he and his philosophy withstood challenging circumstances. Stoicism, although not capable of making individuals perfect, has the power to enhance bravery, intelligence, and kindness. Those who embrace Stoic principles are less likely to be corrupted by power and success. The opportunity to learn about Stoicism and gain valuable insights is presented through the reopened course “Stoicism, Ancient Philosophy for your actual life.” Stoics emphasize the importance of gratitude and happiness with the present, rather than mere acceptance. Epic Titus suggests that a fulfilling life is achieved by desiring what is to come, rather than clinging to desires. Marcus Aurelius further emphasizes the need to approach all experiences with gratitude. The Serenity Prayer, which originated in the 1930s, holds timeless wisdom that resonates with individuals seeking recovery. Epictetus, despite enduring a tragic and painful life, never questioned the fairness of his circumstances. Stoics advocate for accepting the aspects of life beyond our control without complaint or longing for change, but it is crucial to distinguish this acceptance from rationalization or passivity. Lastly, while appreciating Stoic wisdom, it is essential to actively engage in challenging and debating its principles.


The episode emphasizes the measure of greatness in Stoicism, the impact it has on individuals, and the importance of learning and applying its principles. Gratitude, acceptance, and the Serenity Prayer play significant roles in Stoic philosophy, while the life of Epictetus serves as a reminder of the acceptance of life’s injustices. By challenging and debating Stoic wisdom, individuals can actively shape their responses to challenging situations and strive for personal growth and resilience.

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