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How to WIN When Face Adversity (according to Stoic philosophers)

Written By Millen Livis

If one thing is certain about life, it’s that adversity is inevitable. And the current time is no exception.

Most people are hurting financially today.

Many retirement accounts like 401ks, ROTH and Rollover IRAs, and taxable investment accounts are crushing…

We all experience high energy cost, high fuel and food prices, high rents and utilities, high cost of transportation and education….

Prices on most essential goods and services seem to be much higher than even a year ago.

And, in my opinion, it will get worse before it gets better…

Pain and fear are in the air….

Why am I talking about these financial pain and fear today?

Because many people right now feel concerned, overwhelmed and some are even paralyze by fear and money worries….

SO, now more than ever before, you’ve got to be well equipped to weather out this economic storm!

You’ve got to be able to handle the current and future financial problems with calm and focus, so you won’t become a victim to ANY external circumstances, which are not in your control.

That’s why today and in the next couple of episodes of this show I’ll be talking about the ancient wisdom from the Stoic Philosophy.

Because Stoics provided us with a practical framework to cultivate a state of mind that would help prevent the storms of external chaos to cause internal chaos in our minds and turmoil in our lives.

Stoic philosophers like Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus knew how to navigate and WIN when humans face adversity.

They were not immune to human emotions like fear, confusion, helplessness, and depression that arise when we experience crises.

Yet, they managed to thrive when they faced adversities.

It is my intention that this knowledge and awareness will help you not just survive the challenging times we live in but feel and act like a Warrior and a Winner you were meant to be.

The premise of Stoic Philosophy was anchored in

– Clarity of Mind and

– Clarity of Action

Stoics embodied 4 fundamental Virtues –



Courage, and


They believed that the way you respond to the world is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

And most of the time, your response to life situations is YOUR CHOICE.

Let’s go over some of the most significant practical insights from the Stoic Philosophy.

There’re 3 Essential Disciplines in Stoic Philosophy:

1.  The Discipline of Perception

 We assign the meaning to our life events.

 There is an event in our life, and there is a story we tell ourselves about that event.

 How you perceive life situations will determine how you feel.   

 And how you feel will affect how you act.

 If you perceive a situation to be hopeless, you’ll feel helpless.

 When you feel helpless, you descend into apathy, doubts, and procrastination.

 You feel stuck – unable to make decisions, unable to focus on solutions, and unable to take aligned actions.

On the other hand, if you perceive a situation as challenging, but choose to focus on solutions, and decide to take any small steps to make it better, you’ll feel capable and empowered.

When you feel empowered, you no longer feel stuck.

You take aligned actions, you ask for help, and you focus on solutions.

As Epictetus said “Man is not disturbed by things, but by the views he takes of them.”

Perception is everything.

2.  The Discipline of Action

The discipline of action is the virtue of living in harmony with the community of all mankind – wishing all of mankind to flourish and pursue happiness.

In the words of Marcus Aurelius, the discipline of Action means “to live as Nature requires.”

And Nature is unselfish.

We’ve got to work towards something bigger than ourselves, while treating all people justly and fairly.

However, since other people’s decision and actions are outside of our direct control, we must acknowledge their choices and always wish them well, adding “Fate permitting” or “God willing.”

Stoics did their best to embody their virtues for the common welfare, while accepting the outcome of their actions in a detached manner, whether it was success or failure.

3.  The Discipline of Will

You cannot control all life circumstances.

Being upset, angry, or enraged by some of your life experiences is human, but it’s not helpful.

It drains your energy, it affects your emotional and mental health, and it wastes your time.

You cannot argue with reality – that’s a losing approach.

The winning approach, as per Stoic Philosophers, is to focus exclusively on what is in your power, on what is in your control, and on what you can do to enhance your personal power.

Epictetus explained that in any given situation there are things that are within your control, and there are things that you have no control over.

What is not in your control according to Stoics?

Here’re some of them:

Your body, Your property, Economy, Politics, weather & natural disasters, people’s opinions of you, Decisions and Actions of others

What is in your control?

Your attitude, Your thoughts, Your perspectives, Your education, You emotions, Your determination, Your efforts, How you spend your time, How you spend your money, What you feed to your mind

That’s where your Power lies.

Know and use your Power.


EVERYBODY fails in life at some point of time.

But every failure is a powerful teacher that provides you an important feedback on what is NOT the right way.

The Stoics teach us that life supposed to be hard – that’s how you grow and evolve.

They recommend to prepare yourself to handle any inevitable adversities.  

While practical money management and strategic investing skills are super important for everyone to be financially successful, I believe that Stoic Philosophy is very practical and applicable for dealing with every-day challenges – whether financial or any other.

What do you think?

 Share your point of view in the comments.

To your Health, Wealth, and Freedom!

Millen Livis, M.S., M.B.A.

About the Author

Millen is a Wealth architect and Financial Independence Coach, entrepreneur, and a bestselling author. Being a Possibilities' Catalyst, she uses her intuition, business, and investment expertise to support entrepreneurial women (like you) who want to master their money, live their purpose achieve financial prosperity and freedom. With her physics and business education, corporate and entrepreneurial experience, money management know-how, mindfulness practices and transformational coaching skills, Millen has a unique ability to guide and support clients in achieving extraordinary success in their lives.

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