We are all at a wonderful ball where the champagne sparkles in every glass and soft laughter falls upon the summer air. We know, by the rules, that at some moment the Black Horsemen will come shattering through the great terrace doors, wreaking vengeance and scattering the survivors. Those who leave early are saved, but the ball is so splendid no one wants to leave while there is still time, so that everyone keeps asking “What time is it? What time is it?” but none of the clocks have any hands.

– Adam Smith, Supermoney

Ego is the Enemy – Part 1: Aspire

This section of the book begins with an introduction on the teachings of Isocrates to his student Demonicus, who was young and ambitious. However, the path of ambition can be dangerous and Demonicus is informed to practice self-control and refrain from haughtiness “and that the best thing which we have in ourselves is good judgement.” Isocrates’…

No adornment so becomes you as modesty, justice, and self-control; for these are the virtues by which, as all men are agreed, the character of the young is held in restraint.

Practice self-control and do not fall under the sway of temper, pleasure, and pain.

Abhor flatterers as you would deceivers; for both, if trusted, injure those who trust them. 

Be affable in your relations with those who approach you, and never haughty; for the pride of the arrogant even slaves can hardly endure.

Be slow in deliberation, but be prompt to carry out your resolves.

The best thing which we have in ourselves is good judgment.

Constantly train your intellect for the greatest thing in the smallest compass is a sound mind in a human body.

Ego is the Enemy – Introduction

I’m currently reading this book by Ryan Holiday and I thought that rather than make a short summary and post it into my Finished Readings section, I’d dedicate a post to summarizing the teachings and what I found interesting within this book. As a stoic, I believe the lessons in this book are incredibly relevant…