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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dobetterwithdan, reflection, anxiety, creativity, Ortega, Seneca, Stoic

The last few days I felt off, down, everything seemed more difficult, trying. I was anxious, I was struggling, but finally the feeling passed…I started to feel more like myself.

The experience had me thinking about imagination and how at times it seems to work for us, while at others it seems to work against us.

“man is impossible without imagination, without the capacity to invent for himself a conception of life, to ‘ideate’ the character he is going to be.”

Ortega

Josè Ortega points out that “man is impossible without imagination, without the capacity to invent for himself a conception of life, to ‘ideate’ the character he is going to be.” When Ortega makes this claim, he means that imagination makes it possible to create an idea of who we want to be, of who we are. Once we create this idea, once we create for ourselves a conception of life, we can then try to make it a reality, to become that person.

(See my related article, Creating Opportunities)

Imagination is, no doubt, an important part of being human. With our imagination we can create ideas of things or states of affairs that we cannot meet with in experience or that are not possible. The creation of ideals—of things like the ideal state, friendship, or community—is possible because of the imagination.

Our imagination makes us adept at solving problems. With it, not only can we figure out what is wrong with our situation or circumstances, but we can figure out how to overcome these problems and difficulties as well. It makes it possible to see things differently, to conceive of problems in ways that make solutions apparent.

This ability to create, to think beyond mere experience, is a powerful tool indeed, but it is a power that can work against us as well. In Letters from a Stoic, Seneca reminds us that “we suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”

“we suffer more often in imagination than in reality…We are in the habit of exaggerating, or imagining, or anticipating, sorrow.”

Seneca

Our imagination can work against us as much or perhaps more than it can work in our favor. When we imagine personal blocks, struggles, limits, we tend to make them out to be worse than they really are. We work ourselves up, we make ourselves afraid, and we limit ourselves, we block ourselves from pursuing the things we want.

Have you ever tried to start a new project, for instance, and fear prevents you from taking the crucial first step? You imagine your failure before you begin – you imagine emotional suffering of all sorts, or you imagine the ridicule of others. Faced with the unknown, with uncertainty, our imagination runs wild, and it is able to come up with all sorts of scenarios that terrify and scare us.

This, however, hits on something important. Our imagination is a useful, important tool and necessary to exercise our creative powers, but it works best when it is directed towards something understood. What is most damaging, it seems, is when the imagination is used in uncertainty, in cases where we don’t know or have no insight into the possible outcomes.

To use our imagination correctly, we need some information, we need to have some starting point, some hard ground to support our creative endeavor. The imagination needs a foundation, and that foundation is built in knowledge and experience. The more we learn about something, the more experience we have, the more effective will our imagination be.

When I think back to times when I’ve struggled, it’s always after I take a first step, after I gain some perspective, that my imagination becomes most useful. In those times, I have a clearer sense of what to expect, of the actual situation and circumstances, and with them I can use my imagination to solve problems and create beyond them.

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Please check out these related articles and posts: A Life Project, A Choice – Kafka & Agency, Note to Self, On Luck, To Exist Beyond Good & Evil, The Eternal Recurrence, Authenticity & the Outsider, and Perspective – in Pursuit of Truth.

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dobetterwithdan, Existential Stoic Podcast, Success, Motivation, Self help
with Danny & Randy

New from The Existential Stoic Podcast!

Episode 25 – Fear and Boredom, the Barriers to Success

Fear and boredom prevent many of us from pursuing the goals and the life we want.

How can we overcome fear? How do we endure boredom?

Danny and Randy explore fear and boredom, the barriers to success. Listen now to learn how you can overcome your fear. Find out how to endure boredom and change your perspective.

Discover how to break down these common barriers so you can succeed!    

The Existential Stoic Podcast, Episode 25Fear and Boredom – The Barriers to Success – available wherever you get your podcasts.

Or check out all ESP content here.

Thanks for listening! Please subscribe and share!

Want to discover more? Please check out my related articles and posts: Journal Exercise #5, Authenticity & Eternal Recurrence, 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?, and The Importance of Exploration and Experimentation.

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Existential stoic podcast, dobetterwithdan, self help, motivation
with Danny & Randy

New from The Existential Stoic Podcast

Fear is a part of life. In Episode 21 of The Existential Stoic Podcast, Danny and Randy explore How to Overcome Fear and Deal with it.

Our fears can limit us, can cause us to seek distractions or miss opportunities.

Listen to Episode 21 to learn how you can face your fears and take control of your life.

Discover how to deal with fear so it does not control you—Overcome your fears and start living your own life now.

The Existential Stoic Podcast, Episode 21 – How to Overcome Fear and Deal with it – available wherever you get your podcasts.

Or check out all ESP content here.

Thanks for listening! Please subscribe and share!

Please check out my related articles and posts: Accepting Death as a Part of Life, Defining a Life Project, How to Create a Meaningful Life, Perspective—In Pursuit of Truth, Developing a Positive Mindset – Discovering Small Delights, Comparison, the Death of Happiness, How to Face Your Fears, Epicurus on Pleasure and Desire, Understanding Our Relationship to Suffering, Are Hobbies Important, and The Importance of Exploration and Experimentation.

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