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The Daily Stoic / This Is What Will Happen To Your Accomplishments | The Daily Stoic

This Is What Will Happen To Your Accomplishments | The Daily Stoic

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In this episode of “The Daily Stoic,” the host explores the transient nature of accomplishments and the inevitable rewriting of history. Drawing inspiration from the story of Marcus Aurelius, who saw his victory monument repurposed centuries later, the episode delves into the philosophical concept of impermanence and the importance of focusing on internal growth rather than external recognition.

Main Takeaways

The Transience of Accomplishments

  • Marcus Aurelius spent 14 years at war, eventually emerging victorious at great personal cost and risk.
  • His triumph was commemorated by a towering 97-foot marble structure that still stands today.
  • However, in the 16th century, Pope Sixtus V repurposed the monument, transforming it into a pedestal for a Christian saint, St. Paul.

History’s Influence

  • History has a tendency to remix, reuse, pervert, undermine, contradict, and absorb individuals and their accomplishments for its own purposes.
  • On a long enough timeline, everyone’s will and testament is ignored, and their memory is written over.


The Impermanence of Accomplishments

This episode reflects on the fleeting nature of external accomplishments. Marcus Aurelius, a renowned Roman emperor, achieved a hard-fought victory after years of war. His success was immortalized in a towering marble structure. However, the passage of time and the shifting tides of history led to the repurposing of this monument as a pedestal for St. Paul. This serves as a reminder that even the most significant accomplishments can be rewritten and repurposed by future generations.

The Influence of History

History has a way of reshaping narratives and appropriating the legacies of individuals. It remixes their stories, reuses their achievements, and undermines their original intentions. This process is inevitable and occurs on both personal and societal levels. No matter how grand or impactful one’s accomplishments may be, they are subject to the whims of time and the interpretations of future generations.


While external recognition and accomplishments may hold temporary significance, the true measure of a person lies in their internal growth and character development. By focusing on cultivating virtues and embracing the philosophy of stoicism, individuals can find lasting fulfillment and peace, regardless of how history may choose to remember them.

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