Practicing Objectivity

They say there is nothing new under the sun and so when I started thinking more deeply about philosophy, The Meaning of Life, etc. a few years ago I should not have been surprised to find myself drawn to a philosophy developed over 2000 years ago!

I am of course talking about stoicism. I encourage everyone to at least read up on stoicism. The Daily Stoic is a good starting point. The site provides quite a bit of content that is useful for introspection or reflection.

Today I encountered this quote from the philosopher Epictetus:

Don’t let the force of an impression when it first hit you knock you off your feet; just say to it: hold on a moment; let me see who you are and what you represent. Let me put you to the test.

This is something to meditate on as an investor as well as an individual. As you go about your day, think of all the people and ideas you dismiss out of hand.

Are you dismissive about these people and ideas based on reasoned thinking? Or are you just making snap decisions for convenience?

How many people and ideas do you write off each day for no reason other than that they offend your preconceived notions of how the world works?

When you think about things this way, you will quickly discover surprisingly little of what you believe is reasoned from first principles. This isn’t something to be ashamed of! In fact it is intensely liberating. It means that life is not a test you pass or fail. Rather it is unknown territory for exploration. Life is an adventure, and you are the hero! What is more exciting than that?

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