Practical Stoicism: Stop Worrying About Money
During my time as a blogger, I’ve posted about various worrying things. In fact, in a sea of positivity and good vibes, I’m the grumpy old guy who says “watch out!” However, if you meet me in person, I’m relaxed. I take it easy. The reason I’m able to do this is because of the philosophy called Stoicism. Read on to find out how to use practical stoicism to stop worrying about money!
Related: 6 Stoic Quotes to Succeed in 2018
Lots to Worry About
On days like yesterday (10/24/2018), when the stock market drops a deuce all over your 401(k), it’s easy to worry.
Worrying won’t change a thing, though. Except make you more stressed.
I’ve also posted about various worrying personal finance topics. Social Security? Inflation? Liquidity mismatch? These are all things you need to be cogniscent of.
Related: Social Insecurity
Related: Inflation, the Destroyer of FIRE
However, if you meet me in person, I’m relaxed. How?
Seneca’s Thoughts on Worry
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” — Seneca
Seneca wasn’t some hermit living in a hut on a mountainside, he was a serious political player in Rome. He was the Roman equivalent of an investment banker, immensely wealthy, and central to the politics of his era. He’s also one of the foundational philosophers of Stoicism, alongside Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius.
His words, to me, carry more weight because of his worldly experience. It wasn’t hypothetical for him, it was real. His advice is practical instead of being unapproachable, like many philosophies.
Breaking It Down
With regard to worry, I’ve distilled Stoicism into a simple thought process.
I’m not religious, but I like to give credit where credit is due: there is also a prayer that espouses this philosophy.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”– Serenity Prayer
Conclusion: Hedge Yourself
Look, nobody knows precisely what’s going to happen next with the stock market, the economy, world politics…the only thing you can know about the future is that you don’t know it.
However, you can think about the biggest risks and do what you can to mitigate their effect on your life. After that, kick back and enjoy the moment. Stop worrying about money.
The rest is out of your control, and that’s a good thing.