Archives


  • How to Live and Give like a Stoic: Interview with Paul Higgins

    Paul Higgins decided to write his first book, Build, Live, Give, while receiving dialysis treatments for chronic kidney disease. During this daunting time, he also started a new company of the same name as his book, with the intent to help solopreneurs free themselves from 60+ hour work-weeks, so they could spend more time doing the things that matter most: spending time with family, traveling, and helping others. In this interview, Kevin asks Paul about his incredible journey in the areas of business, career, and health. We also get a peek inside a truly remarkable attitude and philosophy of a man who's taken on Marcus Aurelius' famous words, "The Obstacle is the Way" in new and inspiring ways.

  • Fasting Like a Stoic – Day 3 of My 5 Day Water Fast

    Kevin reflects upon the spiritual and psychological benefits of his 5 days water fast and how the Stoics embraced fasting as well as other practices of restraint. Read Kevin's complimentary article, What Stoic Fasting Can Teach Us About Pleasure, Empathy, and Gratitude

  • Word of the Day: Confront

    Kevin discusses the word "confront" and how Jerry Seinfeld and others, like the Stoics, have used that word. It's a word that helps us both face challenges and confront resistance from accomplishing what we wish to accomplish. Quotes: "I feel like if you break the human struggle down to one word, it’s confront. And so, I kind of approach everything that way. Just the act of the confront is like — what do people always say? Admitting you have a problem, all that nonsense." Jerry Seinfeld Interview with Tim Ferris Show: https://tim.blog/2020/12/08/jerry-seinfeld/ "No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself." ~Seneca "What would have become of Hercules do you think if there had been no lion, hydra, stag or boar - and no savage criminals to rid the world of? What would he have done in the absence of such challenges? Obviously he would have just rolled over in bed and gone back to sleep. So by snoring his life away in luxury and comfort he never would have developed into the mighty Hercules. And even if he had, what good would it have done him? What would have been the use of those arms, that physique, and that noble soul, without crises or conditions to stir into him action?" ~Epictetus

  • Are Stoics Allowed to Have Emotions?

    In this episode, Kevin asks the question of where emotions come into play with regard to Stoic Philosophy? Are Stoics encouraged to feel their emotions, or are they expected to "walk it off," as it were? ------ Stoic Emotions...All Three of Them- by Matthew Van Natta of the Immoderate Stoic - (https://immoderatestoic.com/blog/2013/4/2/stoic-emotionsall-three-of-them) Today Explained: Moving Home (Vox podcast) - (https://www.vox.com/today-explained) Transcript - (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TpMuj_qrRzVflwP7RL8Q-OcsxbMn8ZGlGWZ979sqbJA/edit?usp=sharing) Arrested Development Scene: Tobias' Impression of John Wayne (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxjvs5Cs_5Q)

  • [Chats with Steve] – Escaping from Youtube in Amish Buggies

    0:01:27 where were steve? 0:03:13 maybe most of steve's liveliness rooting in uncertainty 0:03:38 we expect options in life and we are upset when they run out 0:06:01 steve on youtube gurus selling their sports cars and his own cleansing from things 0:11:15 kevin trying hard not to watch youtube 0:12:08 physical books vs digital books 0:12:39 should we give devices to our kids? 0:13:58 jail time and books 0:15:16 similarities between prison and monastic life 0:16:51 kevin asks about meditation retreats 0:21:05 internet was cool at the beginning but now its a pain in the ass 0:22:40 kevin mentions netflix's social dilemma 0:25:10 steve mentions keeping your kids off of devices and social media gonna be a battle 0:26:46 kevin wants to be more amish and take things slowly 0:28:01 kevin references to don miguel ruiz 0:29:20 story of don miguel ruiz visiting his grandfather 0:30:56 steve expects 6-min youtube clips to change his life 0:31:43 kevin takes portugese lessons 0:32:20 learning vs feeding off of streaming content 0:33:07 kevin on toltek agreements and brain lying to itself 0:34:06 steve on brain's resistance to doing hard things 0:36:08 kevin tells his feelings about parenting 0:36:36 steve tells most draining thing you can do while caring for children 0:38:42 kevin on living exact opposite of the tao 0:39:23 steve tells about the kid leaving his class 0:42:02 steve on how crying is therapeutic for kids 0:43:58 steve says don't put all your eggs in one basket 0:45:27 kevin on old-school entrepreneurship 0:47:14 steve tells about his old entrepreneur days, and how it might go bad back in the day 0:49:24 kevin on how easy entrepreneurship is nowadays 0:52:20 steve on venture capital 0:52:56 kevin says there is something different with kenneth cole 0:53:45 steve says every entrepreneur thinks they will do really well on day 1 0:54:39 kevin asks if steve can increase the odds through persistence 0:55:39 steve says we don't teach how to handle failure 0:56:24 if we want open communication we can't have punishment 0:57:34 kevin on learning from your mistakes 1:00:43 steve on jordan belfort 1:03:02 steve on entrepreneur vs employee mindset 1:05:01 kevin says covid made us rethink our beliefs of what is solid business 1:05:28 kevin mentions his aunts house burned down

  • What Stoics Do When Societies Fall Apart

    0:00:54 kevin is sitting on grass at a park of scottsdale arizona 0:02:34 kevin mentions a story from buddha 0:04:48 living in the now vs interacting with the inner narrative 0:05:56 how can we navigate in a paradigm where rules are breaking day by day? 0:06:36 does sometimes a collapse needed for resetting the system? 0:07:18 kevin mentions the period after julius caesar's assasination and states it may not be easy to recover from a collapse, 0:09:30 if we want to throw phony politicians out we should be ready for ones authentically lying as well, 0:10:26 kevin says he does turn to stoics when he is stressed out by conditions he can't change, and gives and Epictetus quote, 0:12:01 kevin talks about how things went down while vote-counting in Phoenix Arizona 0:12:59 we are trying to resist reality unfolding and quote from byron katie 0:13:44 another quote from Epictetus 0:14:48 as the life's necessity we may need to work through people no matter what result comes out 0:15:06 ptolemy's book toll mandate and library of alexandria 0:17:25 we need to trust life and what it needs to be 0:18:07 contrast between fanaticism and free thinking periods of time 0:19:47 how we can approach the unfriendliness of the today's world from a place of peace 0:20:55 more quotes from Epictetus 0:21:20 if you find yourself caught in fear and terror go back to precepts and practice rational thinking 0:22:11 continuation to Epictetus passage 0:22:35 universe is strong and superior such that its unreasonable to resist events happening to us 0:23:27 kevin talks about how Epictetus gain his freedom and became an outcast from Rome after 20 years 0:24:21 Epictetus goes with the flow in life like a martial artist

  • Court Case of the Mind

    0:00:57 where is steve? 0:02:39 court of the mind 0:03:23 what does someone being judgemental actually mean? 0:03:51 everything in life is about relationship 0:04:27 kevin talks about his troubled relationship with his high-school car 0:05:10 it's possible to have emotionally-charged relationships with everything and everyone 0:05:28 2020 usa elections 0:06:08 everything is just ideas 0:06:18 kevin mentions Death of Democracy by Benjamin Carter Hett 0:08:03 kevin mentions there were 2 extreme political parties too in Nazi Germany 0:08:48 1930's Germany may be more similar to nowadays USA than we think 0:09:07 people have strong relationships with their political identities 0:09:22 the political camps we are stongly attaching to are merely an idea, a symbol or a flag but nothing more 0:10:31 kevin looks into ancient rome conflicts and Julius Caesar's takeover 0:11:06 stoics take on extreme camps and political attachment 0:11:47 it's easy to judge other people 0:12:15 kevin mentions byron katie 0:13:58 kevin says byron katie's work helps us to create a court case in brain 0:15:23 kevin explains "the work" of byron katie 0:16:45 kevin goes through court characters 0:19:40 the judge in our court case can get conditioned by experience and environment 0:21:02 we all agree on judges should not be partial and biased 0:21:32 we are not fair judges a lot of the time 0:22:01 purpose of "the work" is getting use to go through the fair court case on every upsetting occasion 0:22:53 there are big consequences for us not being fair 0:23:40 quotes from Epictetus 0:26:42 how do we process the court of mind with "the work" 0:28:49 more quotes from Epictetus 0:29:53 there are similarities between epictetus and jesus teachings 0:33:12 can we stop being judgemental 0:34:26 there is no choice about being judgemental or not, but you can be a good judge

  • [Chats w/ Steve] We are all one in the Matrix of trauma

    0:00:59 abraham hicks and childhood trauma 0:02:11 steve doesn't agree with abraham hicks method of ignoring childhood trauma 0:02:35 kevin revisits the previous episode on cafetruth they did about narcissism 0:03:02 kevin mentions about victor frankl 0:03:14 kevin says we might be putting meaning to traumas and this meaning may not be actually true 0:03:47 kevin shares his last experience with abraham hicks 0:05:34 kevin mentions about his feelings about self-growth and spiritual events and the necessity of integrity in those teachings 0:06:48 steve says different talkers will deliver different qualities on same topic - steve's thoughts on neil de'greesse tyson 0:08:15 kevin talking about neil de'greese tyson and why scientific method may not cut it when it comes to psychology 0:09:21 psychology is pretty adolescent as a department of science 0:09:47 feelings are valid but when you get down to memories things change & steve had a core belief about his father wants to kill him 0:12:13 steve introduces a method to disseminate ongoing traumatic events 0:12:45 steve mentions about effects of hearing counter methodologies in psychology 0:13:07 kevin makes a barnacle on a ship allegory about human attachment 0:14:02 kevin mentions the "i don't know mind" for a solution 0:14:25 steve tells his core belief about his boss 0:14:45 thoughts of attachment are almost projecting in the real life 0:15:15 kevin and steve discuss masking,people pleasing and stress at work related to deadlines 0:16:17 kevin refers to a recording of Allan about how doctors treat a wound 0:16:57 kevin asks is working also therapeutic 0:17:27 steve says being intouchable by others words is the most enlightened stage 0:18:07 scalpel of truth & wisdom of not propagating traumatic wounds to others 0:19:35 steve tells his once happy jolly jolly life & changing subjects as a defense 0:20:56 kevin promotes work should be only for self 0:22:24 steve tells the aspects of work he appreciate and how it helps his communication 0:23:00 life is like a mirror 0:23:10 does others exist? simulation theory 0:24:14 steve mentions his 6 year old student 0:25:58 steve mentions pre-education children may be able to tap into simulation 0:26:50 steve tells everything is one thing and rammifications of it 0:29:27 kevin tells a koan about a zen master going to butcher 0:30:35 kevin mentions lorann hilson 0:30:51 where do we go when we sleep? 0:31:46 steve and kevin googles "where do i go when i sleep" 0:32:41 kevin discusses the whole point of healing from traumas 0:33:35 don't fuck with our story, people don't want to get their narratives taken 0:34:23 psychology is almost there but it is half baked 0:36:08 mind is always creating stories and self-identity is one of them 0:37:09 kevin mentions how his terrified ego reacted to COVID pandemic 0:38:54 will we exist after we die or will it turn out we didn't exist anyway 0:39:46 steve tells a chinese master's method of deconstructing the I thought 0:40:50 there is a space under mind chatter and I thought 0:41:41 what is the thing in us that is aware of us thinking 0:42:18 eye can't see itself 0:43:02 steve actually feels like a camera, life is like a movie production 0:46:36 technology replicates spiritual 0:49:18 kevin says simulations designer throwing all the drama, trauma and health conditions just to make it fun to play 0:51:01 its easier to look at history then living it 0:51:49 life is a dream and we have to be humble about this 0:52:11 steve pushes simulation theory on everyone 0:52:58 if you are on the beach of tahiti would you want to wake up from the dream? 0:55:27 kevin mentions there was a 15 year pandemic in Marcus Aurelius' time too 0:56:58 steve mentions how he and his mom affected by COVID in England 0:58:01 steve and kevin on queen's speech 0:59:46 kevin asks steve if they studied british civil war 1:01:03 steve says they teach history based on where you live 1:03:16 steve sums up english history

  • Everything is Made of Light

    00:21 Don Miguel Ruiz's realization after looking at the night sky of Sonoran Desert 01:54 Is space really empty? 02:49 Every corner of the universe is filled with light 03:52 We are wired to perceive with words and they are dictating our understanding 04:52 Light as a messenger of information 06:23 Mirrors capability to create a virtual reality 07:38 Our brains work similarly to a mirror 08:13 Artificial intelligence and brain as a black box trying to recreate reality 09:34 Our minds might not be reliable for interpreting data from the universe accurately 10:41 There is no space between us and objects 11:40 We might have been trying to process more data than we need in today's world 12:31 Why Kevin revisited Voice of Knowledge from Don Miguel Ruiz in an age of deception and fake news. 12:56 Don't believe everything in your head especially if it comes from another human mind 14:00 Difference between a tree communicating itself and how language distorts Kevin telling the tree to his friend 14:35 How computers fix the errors in Internet communication comparing to human language 17:16 Why humans are so into narratives 19:46 Importance of coming out of storytelling feedback loop. Practicing direct communication with nature via silence and being at the moment. 21:46 Quotes from Marcus Aurelius about distorted perception of reality 24:23 Stop fighting with reality either intentionally or unintentionally. 25:35 Conspiracy theories and unintentional spread of misinformation 27:44 Which tools are helpful for us checking errors and stop propagating lies?

  • Choosing Passion vs. Fame – Radioactivity & Madame Curie

    04:25 stoic notion of insignificance - everyone is forgotten - desire of the fame is torments you 08:29 did romans thought earth is round? 09:33 how small are we on the pinhead of earth 10:09 all you see will quickly perish 11:08 chernobyl crisis and what's left from the first responders 13:38 how long historical records last? once data is gone the narrative is over. 14:20 present is all there is 15:10 we are most likely impermanent and unremarkable people 16:30 thoughts after watching the movie about Marie Curie named Radioactive - even Marie Curie will might be forgotten 20:08 marie curie seems to follow curiosity over fame 21:43 the notion of doing something for outcome of itself 22:07 social media and increased rates of teenage suicide 25:22 it is nice to know even marcus aurelius' years they dealt with tormenting desire of becoming famous 26.05 in comparison to our desire for being relevant marie curie lived the opposite 27:37 social media systems geared to reward most outrageous of us 28:08 madam curie created more impact without looking for fame and relevancy 31:03 why marie curie went through years of people looking down on her instead of manipulating fame and press 32:13 beauty of taking responsibility 33:05 quote from Epictetus - madam curie might be cancelled if there were a social media back then 35:40 YouTuber's dilemma between video quality and fame/clickbait 37:57 definitions of quality in the Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance book 38:20 choose quality and virtue over fame and short term rewards - how many child stars do we remember? 40:25 kevin tells his experience in his first IT job in comparing to his colleague with Zen-like approach 42:53 quote from Martin Luther King on doing your job well 44:45 knowing we will soon be forgotten might bring relief

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