Don’t explain it, embody it

I think we waste most of our time rationalising our philosophy instead of living it. This is true with the new batch of stoics that are cropping up everywhere, thanks to Tim Ferris, Ryan Holiday, and others who have popularised the philosophy as an “operating system for life.” That’s not a bad thing at all!

But the point that people miss out on is this — the whole point of stoicism was the obsessive focus on what one does. As in “action” instead of reaction or conversation about what you intend to do or have done. As Ryan Holiday says, “it’s an act of virtue, not the act of talking about virtue. Or reading about it. Or writing about it.

The core of stoicism lies in letting your action speak for you. Stop yapping about it. The stoics knew you would; that’s why Epictetus explicitly said, “Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” 

Talking about your philosophy is akin to missing the whole damn point. So, don’t. Instead, do. As Marcus Aurelius would say, “Waste no more time talking about what a good man is like. Be one.” 

And if you’re still not getting it, probably you’re not a stoic but a show-off. Are you?

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