For the uninitiated, Letters from a Stoic is a collection of 124 letters sent by Seneca, ancient Roman philosopher to his friend, Lucilius, in around 63 AD to 65 AD.

Here is a thread on my notes and thoughts on Letter XIII - On Groundless Fears. (1/n)

"There are more things, Lucilius, likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality."

We cross our bridge of worries many a times before we even come across it. And very often, this bridge doesn't even exist in reality. (2/n)
"What I advise you to do is, not to be unhappy before the crisis comes; since it may be that the dangers before which you paled as if they were threatening you, will never come upon you."

Don't suffer unduly in your mind even before the event. The event might not happen. (3/n)
"We are tormented either by things present, or by things to come, or by both. As to things present, the decision is easy. Suppose that your person enjoys freedom and health, and that you do not suffer from any external injury."

Mindfulness. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. (4/n)
"It is likely that some troubles will befall us. And even though it is ordained to be, what does it avail to run out to meet your suffering?"

Troubles, if they are meant to come, will come soon enough. But why prolong them by living them even before they arrive? (5/n)
"It is the idle report that disturbs us most. For truth has its own definite boundaries, but that which arises from uncertainty is delivered over to guesswork and the irresponsible license of a frightened mind"

Suffering - in imagination, has no boundaries. In reality, it does.
"We let ourselves drift with every breeze; we are frightened at uncertainties, just as if they were certain. We observe no moderation. The slightest thing turns the scales and throws us forthwith into a panic."

Face your fears with a calculated, rational and resolute mind. (7/n)
"The fool, with all his other faults, has this also, he is always getting ready to live."

These baseless fears cause us to squander away the only thing actually in our control- the present. As long as you have your health and freedom, you have your present. You have this moment.
I often find myself turning to these letters. They are a treasure trove of wisdom and Stoic philosophy on how to live your life. And to think they were written in 65 AD. We, as society, have changed so much. And in so many ways, we have not changed at all. (9/9)


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More from @position_trader

Sep 20, 2018
Here is a series of tweets offering suggestions to new traders. From a blog post I wrote 7 years ago. Have to admit I would not be able to do a better job if I was to write a new post on it today. (1/n)
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Sep 2, 2018
Here are my notes and thoughts on the book “Your Money or Your Life”. The original version was published in 1992 and has been acknowledged as a one of the pioneers for the Financial Independence (FI) movement. An updated version of the book has been released recently. (1/n)
If I had to summarize the book in one sentence, the book basically forces you to look into and re-examine your relationship with money. We spend most of our lives chasing it, mights as well look into what it means to us. (2/n)
"Midlife comes and we discover we’ve been living our parents’ agenda. Or worse, we’ve been filling teeth for twenty years because some seventeen-year-old decided that being a dentist would be the best of all possible worlds."

Holds true for most of us. (3/n)
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Jul 20, 2018
Starting with "What I learned losing a million dollars". Read enough about earning them, might as well also learn about losing them!
"They are like racing fans making the same losing bet on an instant replay"

After initially losing money, we feel that something is wrong with our methods and promptly renew our search for the infallible system. We end up making the same mistakes again and again.
"One of the premises of the book is that the rise sets up the fall; the winning sets up the losing"

You have nothing to lose if you haven't won in the past. Success without a system, or in spite of a system, just sets you up for a big fall.
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