Existential Stoic Podcast, dobetterwithdan, self help, Motivation, Quick Fix, how to, start
with Danny & Randy

Do you have a hard time getting things done? Do you wait till the last minute to start projects? In episode 154, Danny and Randy discuss tips for how to stop procrastinating.

The Existential Stoic Quick Fix 154 – How to Master Money – Available wherever you get your podcasts!

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Want to discover more? Please check out my related articles: Discovering Small Delights, Our Relationship to Suffering, Comparisons & Mistakes We Make, Defining a Life Project, Meditation & Balance, The Only Proof of Strength, What is Virtue?, A Formula for Happiness, and The Authentic Life.

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self help, podcast, mental health, growth, negativity, loneliness
with Danny & Randy

Episode 139 – The Existential Stoic Podcast

Many of us struggle at times with feelings of boredom and loneliness.

Danny and Randy discuss what to do when you are feeling bored and lonely. Listen now to discover healthy ways to get through difficult times in life.

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Want to discover more? Please check out my related articles: Reducing Friction, Death & Meaning, To Feel Differently, Boundaries, Curiosity & the Wisdom of Socrates, Within Our Control, Meditation & Balance, The Only Proof of Strength, A Formula for Happiness, and Comparisons & Mistakes We Make.

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Existential Stoic Podcast, dobetterwithdan, self help, Motivation, Quick Fix, focus, friction, mental health
with Danny & Randy

New from The Existential Stoic…

Focus is crucial if you want to make the most of your time. Danny and Randy offer tips for how to focus on the latest Quick Fix from The Existential Stoic Podcast.

The Existential Stoic Quick Fix 120 – How to Focus – Available wherever you get your podcasts!

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Want to discover more? Please check out my related articles: Reducing Friction, Death & Meaning, To Feel Differently, Productivity, Within Our Control, Meditation & Balance, The Only Proof of Strength, A Formula for Happiness, and Comparisons & Mistakes We Make.

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Existential Stoic Podcast, dobetterwithdan, self help, Motivation, Quick Fix, positivity, self control, growth
with Danny & Randy

New from The Existential Stoic…

Our attitude determines how we see and interpret the world.

Danny and Randy discuss tips for having a better attitude in Quick Fix 46 from The Existential Stoic.

The Existential Stoic – Having a Better Attitude – Quick Fix 46 – Available wherever you get your podcasts!

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Want to discover more? Please check out my related articles: Laws Should Facilitate Choice, Productivity, Within Our Control, Meditation & Balance, The Only Proof of Strength, Lessons Learned from Ancient Cultures, A Formula for Happiness, Creating Opportunities, and Comparisons & Mistakes We Make.

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positivity, positive mindset, attitude, intentionality, strength, motivation, self help, happiness

We all want to be more productive. We commonly assess our own value by the extent to which we believe we are productive. When we are productive, we are able to face the world, the daily challenges of life, and we are able to achieve our goals and live the life we want.

If productivity is so important, what can we do to be more productive?

Positivity and High Spirits

We underestimate the important role positivity plays in productivity. Nietzsche points out that “Nothing gets done without a dose of high spirits.” A positive mindset, he thought, as many other philosophers agree, is a choice, is something we can choose to foster and develop.

“Nothing gets done without a dose of high spirits.”

Nietzsche

Nietzsche reminds us that the “decision to find the world ugly and bad” is a dangerous decision because it makes “the world ugly and bad.” Negativity breeds negativity. When we are negative, we lose the strength needed to face the world and get things done. Negativity is exhausting, makes us feel worn out, and ultimately derails our productivity.

In my own experience, I’ve found the two most valuable tools for fostering a positive outlook are practicing gratitude and cultivating a greater awareness of the small delights and pleasures in life. To practice gratitude is not simply to acknowledge the good, but to celebrate it and express thanks for it. When we are grateful, we are more apt to recognize the small pleasures and small delights in life.

We must make a choice to become more aware of the small delights and pleasures in life, and once we make this choice it is important to affirm it by expressing thanks and recognizing the impact this awareness has on our attitude and our quality of life. It involves, as Nietzsche suggests, a decision: we must decide that the world is beautiful and good rather than ugly and bad.

When we cultivate positivity, we actively make a choice to start seeing the world a certain way. We choose to be aware of and take notice of the good in the world, to find it, to express thanks for it. When we do this, we experience increased energy and motivation. We are more prepared and equipped to deal with the everyday challenges in life, because we possess the psychological fortitude to deal with obstacles and difficulties, to face them and overcome.

As Nicole Mead Ph.D. discovered, small pleasures and delights are an important source of positive feelings that improve our mindset and play a crucial role in our overall attitude.

“Why are simple pleasures vital for goal progress? Modern day life is full of struggles and challenges, which erode the very psychological resources we need to make progress on our goals: Positive feelings.”

Nicole Mead

Productivity is heavily influenced by our spirits, by the extent to which we feel psychologically equipped to handle the challenges of life and possess the strength to overcome obstacles we may encounter. Through gratitude and a deeper awareness of the everyday pleasures in life, we take control of our mindset, our attitude, by choosing to live intentionally and be in control of ourselves. The more we take possession of ourselves, the more empowered we become.

To be productive is to possess the ability, the motivation, the will power to get things done and live the life we want, to make progress towards our goals. Make the choice to live intentionally, to make the most of this life, and start cultivating the mindset, the strength, to live your own life and be productive.

“The only proof of strength is an excess of strength.”

Nietzsche

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Want to discover more? Please check out my related articles: Death & Meaning, Within Our Control, Meditation & Balance, The Only Proof of Strength, Discovering Small Delights, Lessons Learned from Ancient Cultures, A Formula for Happiness, The Habit of Thinking, and Creating Opportunities, Comparisons & Mistakes We Make.

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motivation, self help, philosophy, stoic philosophy, modern stoicism, Nietzsche, existentialism

Most of us are all-too familiar with negative feedback loops. We adopt a negative, pessimistic outlook, and suddenly we find confirmation and justification for our negativity everywhere. The confirmation we find reaffirms our commitment to negativity, and our outlook only darkens.  

Nietzsche calls the decision “to find the world ugly and bad” a dangerous decision because it makes “the world ugly and bad.” His point is simple: Our attitude, our evaluation of existence, of the world, stems from an interpretation, a perspective. It is a choice to view the world a certain way, it is a choice to maintain certain values.

A dangerous decision. – The…decision to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.”

Nietzsche

Nietzsche, like many philosophers before and after him, thought that we are meaning makers, that we create the world we experience. We interpret things a certain way, we apply values, and we construct meaning. This ability to adopt a perspective, an attitude or mindset, is the source of our freedom. We are free to create meaning, to see the world as we choose to.

Epictetus makes a similar point in the Enchiridion (the dichotomy of control): “Some things are within our power, while others are not.”

“Within our power are opinion, motivation, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever is of our own doing; not within our power…whatever is not of our own doing.”

Epictetus

Epictetus, like Nietzsche, recognizes that we are unique from other living things because we are conscious and self-aware. We have control over our mind, over how we look at, interpret, and respond to the world. We don’t have control over external forces, over the facts of the world, but we do exercise control when it comes to how we choose to interact with them and view them.

We can choose to value something a certain way or make it meaningful. We can, for instance, choose to focus on and fuel our anger. We can choose to act on it and harm others. In contrast, we can also choose to forgive, to take a step back, to calm ourselves.

We can choose to be a victim, and thus find others in the world or circumstances to blame for our struggles. Just as we can choose to view ourselves as the author of our own life, as having control over the person we become and the way we think.

Choose Happiness

self help, motivation, stoic philosophy, existentialism, freedom, choose, happiness

Philosophers like Epictetus and Nietzsche identified the importance of our attitude because it influences everything else and determines how we interpret the world. We can decide that the world is ugly and bad, or we can decide that the world is beautiful and good. Why not choose the latter?

Our power to interpret the world, to make it meaningful, also has implications for our happiness. Happiness, it would seem, is also within our power because it involves seeing the world and ourselves a certain way, cultivating a certain mindset and attitude towards existence. When we decide this life is beautiful, is valuable, we are motivated to make it better. A positive outlook energizes us not only to see the good, but to be good ourselves.

“‘I conclude that all is well,’ … and that remark is sacred. It echoes in the wild and limited universe of man. It teaches that all is not, has not been, exhausted.”

Camus

Camus agrees that we are meaning making beings. He reminds us that all is well. Even though the universe is limited, all is not exhausted. We can interpret things innumerable ways.

In the end, this is our life, and we must choose our own happiness, we must choose to value this world, this life, and make the most of it. Only when we do so, when we make such a choice, will we find ourselves in a world that is beautiful and good, because it will be a world in which we are in possession of ourselves, where we exercise our freedom and control the narrative of our life.

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Want to discover more? Please check out my related articles: Meditation & Balance, The Only Proof of Strength, Lessons Learned from Ancient Cultures, A Formula for Happiness, The Habit of Thinking, Death & Meaning, and Comparisons & Mistakes We Make.

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Existential Stoic Podcast, dobetterwithdan, Habit, Attitude
with Danny & Randy

New from The Existential Stoic Podcast!

Starting Over and New Beginnings

The idea of starting over, of a new beginning, can seem overwhelming.

We want to live a meaningful, fulfilling, and successful life, but it is hard to start, to make progress towards that life. Sometimes we don’t even know what the life we want looks like, what we are aiming at.

In Episode 23 of The Existential Stoic Podcast, Danny and Randy explore Starting Over and New Beginnings.

Discover what you can do to start creating a new you, to start living the life you want. Find out the crucial role attitude, action, and habit play in new beginnings.

Listen now to learn what it means and what it takes to start over, to begin working on a new you.  

The Existential Stoic Podcast, Episode 23 – Starting Over and New Beginnings – available wherever you get your podcasts.

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For more, please see my related articles and posts: The Authentic Life – The Outsider, The World We Create, Accepting Death as a Part of Life, Defining a Life Project, Perspective—In Pursuit of Truth, Developing a Positive Mindset – Discovering Small Delights, How to Face Your Fears, Understanding Our Relationship to Suffering, Are Hobbies Important, What is Virtue?, What is Self-Mastery?, Comparisons & the Mistakes We Make, and The Importance of Exploration and Experimentation.

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