Why You Must Become a Modern-Day Stoic (And What to Do to Become One)

David Goggins. Possibly the toughest man alive. The only person to complete SEAL training, US Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. He also holds the current record for most pull-ups done in 24 hours.

He once famously ran 100 miles in 24 hours, and he did it by sheer power of will. The metatarsal bones in his feet were broken. There were stress fractures, shin splints, and muscles tearing. He was peeing blood down his leg because he couldn’t make it to a toilet 20 feet from him.

He was on the brink of death, but he kept going nonetheless.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not our bodies that break under high stress, but rather our minds. It is all a mental game.

Yes, pain is inevitable. The avoidance of pain, the desire for comfort, the clinging to one’s comfort zone, all of those cause us pain.

But suffering is optional…

Want to know why?

Read on.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Most people have it all figured upside down. They desire comfort for as long as possible, even though they know it only leads to suffering in the end.

You smoke cigarettes for the endorphins until you destroy your body and end up regretting it.

You avoid failure, rejections, criticism only to become bitter and remorseful.

You avoid taking responsibility for your life, only to wake up defeated each and every morning for the rest of your life.

We avoid pain, and that’s why we suffer.

But what if you were to go about life the other way around?

What if you decided to suffer now? To become uncomfortable each and every day? To give up on addictions, on the habits that allow you to escape reality, from the fast food, from all the sweets, from not working out.

What if you decided to stick to a course of action long enough to see the kind of results few people ever get?

What if you knew why you’d do such a thing? What if you decided what kind of pain to endure and for how long?

What if you were to take a cold shower once in a while? To walk to work instead of driving? To go a day or two without eating? To give up on social media for an entire month?

What if you decided to keep blogging even if no one else gave a damn about your stuff?

Why you must be a stoic.

We are a soft generation. If you believe that is not true, ask yourself if you ever got upset over what someone else said. Or maybe it was a traffic jam? The cashier at Starbucks misunderstood your order? Had to wait in line at the grocery store?

What are the kind of things you give a damn about?

What if you were to receive a phone call at 3 in the morning telling you that a loved one has passed away?

What if you were told you only had a few months to live?

What if you’d find yourself struggling to find enough food to survive?

We are meant to survive in a harsh environment. Comfort breeds monsters. The kind of people who have no inner fortitude at all. The kind of people who suffer from stupid, little things.

If running is difficult, run as much as you can.

This applies to everything you do in life.

Do what is hard, what is necessary, what will take you to the next level.

Do what is painful, tiresome, what few people are willing to do.

Otherwise, you’ll end up with a wretched and miserable life, no matter what you posses, no matter who loves you and cares for you.

The Ancient stoic philosophers advised that we should embrace suffering.

Strengthen your mind and your resolve by voluntarily putting yourself through situations in which you struggle. Chose the path of most resistance every day of your life.

And you’ll become a little bit more than what most people would define as “human.”


  1. Pain is inevitable suffering is optional- that actually got me thinking. I don’t want to admit it, but it’s true. We can’t stop ourselves from getting hurt, but we can control how we react to it….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Stoicism is enjoying a moment in the spotlight right now so everyone is coming to appreciate its benefits but it’s been true for thousands of years. It’s good that’s it’s been promoted than those who study the classics or have an interest in Greece like myself.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for sharing, agree about Stoicism. I watched a great TED talk about stoicism. It’s an ancient philosophy and when applied you can reap the benefits. Peace and blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. David Higgins? I didn’t know about him but what you said about him inspired me. As for soft generation, in Israel less I guess. Bless you and thank you for that post that woke me up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am always amazed and saddened when I hear a story of people getting attacked and killed and not one of them fighting back. We are so conditioned to avoid pain we will not risk it even to save our own life… let alone the life of another. Great post. #BeTheStoic

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anybody interesting in reading about stoicism should probably go to William Irvine’s wonderful ‘A guide to the good life’ before going direct to the roman stoics themselves. It’s a comprehensive, easy to read introduction that makes the necessary connection to modern language, culture and experience. I read the original works just last year and am reading Irvine — wish I’d done it the other way around and I’ll no doubt go back and read them again anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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