How & Why I Programmed My Kids to Follow the Stoic Philosophy
“Dad, I’m a Stoic. You made me a Stoic!”
It’s true. I have been intentionally programming my girls from the very beginning. My time was limited to the first and third weekend of every month. Every conversation, every disagreement, every challenge was an opportunity to teach and embed them with my philosophy and mental models for life.
I’ve lived through the philosophies of stoicism even before I knew the term.
I cultivated my approach primarily through my experiences as a retail manager for over ten years. As a manager, things come at you fast and often from all directions. I didn’t have the privilege of reacting emotionally or irrationally.
Maintaining composure was critical, or I would lose my mind and the respect of my team.
In 2016, I read “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday. That’s when I realized that my philosophy wasn’t original at all. I found myself nodding and agreeing with every principle in the book. The lessons are universal and easily applicable.
So I immediately bought both my daughters a copy.
I would have them read a chapter and discuss it afterward. Only through conversation was I able to feel confident that the lesson would stick.
Last night over dinner, my daughter shared that she was a Stoic, and it was my fault. She realized it when her teacher shared various quotes from Stoic philosophers and recalled the lessons from our conversations. She found herself nodding and agreeing to the different principles shared in class.
My baby remembered her programming.
Hearing this brought the biggest smile to my face. As a father, you hope that your words are getting through. Then one day, it all comes together, and they validate it.
They were listening. They just needed time to process. Some lessons take years.
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