Get Rich With Stoicism

get rich

Stoicism, an ancient Greek philosophy, is not just a guide for leading a virtuous and meaningful life; it can also be a roadmap to financial success.

People have endless discussions on Reddit about this topic. Somehow, the ideas of Stoicism and money don’t jive together in many people’s minds.

That always seemed odd to me. Nearly all the prominent Stoics were well off, from the founder, Zeno, to the most prolific writer of the bunch, Seneca. In fact, you can argue that Stoicism was for wealthy people at the time.

Think about it. If you weren’t well off, would you even have time to think about what you control versus what you don’t in Ancient Rome or Greece? This is why Stoicism is the perfect philosophy for today’s abundant world.

We have so many resources at our disposal that we don’t even know what to do with them. We live in a world where boredom is widespread. Just think about all the things we do and consume. On a deeper level, we’re bored because we don’t have to worry about our survival, and as a result, we try to fill our lives with meaningless activities and objects.

Now, here’s the main concern with the pursuit of wealth. If your only reason to acquire money is so you can buy a fancier car, go on more luxury vacations, and wear better clothes, you’re missing the point.

I believe that Stoicism should (and must) be applied to money because, without a Stoic mindset, one will succumb to greed. This is one of the main topics of my book, The Stoic Path to Wealth.

In this article, I’ll share a few ways you can get rich by applying Stoicism. And why it matters.

1. Become the best and get the best rewards

Epictetus was a famous Stoic who was born into slavery. He once asked his students:

“How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?”

The entire philosophy of Stoicism is built around the idea of striving to become your best self.

It’s a highly ambitious way of life, especially if you consider the time Stoicism became popular: during the peak of Ancient Rome, a time of extravagance and indulgence.

Getting distracted and indulging in pleasure was the default way of life for those with resources. The Stoics provided a contrarian way of life, one that focused on becoming the best version of yourself and focused on moderation.

A good side effect of striving for excellence is that you also get the best rewards if you are among the best at what you do.

2. Be proactive and provide value

Stoicism teaches us not to passively accept our circumstances but to take action. It’s about taking matters into your own hands. Seneca once said:

”Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

You can create your own luck. This can be applied to both your career and your investments.

Don’t just wait for opportunities to come knocking; create them. Be proactive in seeking new skills, networking, and providing value wherever you can.

When you’re proactive, you become a magnet for work. Consequently, money comes pouring in.

If you want to get rich in general, you need to educate yourself continuously. Without learning, we can’t expect to do well in life.

3. Invest in stocks and stay the course

Stoic philosophy places great emphasis on self-control over our emotions.

This is the most important thing when it comes to investing in stocks. As Epictetus said:

”We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”

This is the perfect mentality for an investor. You don’t control what the market or economy does. You only control your judgments and decisions. The stock market is volatile in the short term. But a Stoic investor doesn’t react impulsively to these fluctuations.

They remain calm, rational, and patient. Stoic investors who successfully make money from the stock market make investing decisions based on facts and long-term perspectives.

This emotional management can help you avoid costly investment mistakes and build wealth steadily over time.

4. Focus on the actions that lead to wealth

It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers when you’re pursuing wealth. We often set financial goals, like, “I want to make $250k per year.”

But the truth is, that financial outcomes are not within your control. The economy goes up and down, markets rise and fall, and the older we get, the more we have to deal with health problems.

What do we have control over?

Our actions.

But the outcomes are never guaranteed. We can eat healthy for an entire lifetime and get regul exercise and still get a nasty illness. We can also do the right things at work and still get passed over for a promotion. These things happen because you deal with things that you have no control over.

The beauty of investing in the stock market and even in real estate is that you can assume it will go up over time. This is why, I believe, Einstein called compounding the eighth wonder of the world. It sounds good in theory, and it actually works in practice.

5. Don’t quit

Here’s a famous quote from the philosopher king, Marcus Aurelius:

”The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

In life, career, and personal habits, obstacles are inevitable.

To a Stoic, setbacks are such a natural part of life that dealing with challenges becomes a way of life. If you think about it, we’re usually faced with one challenge after the other.

We deal with one problem, and the next one arises. Sometimes, that’s discouraging. And sometimes it’s so discouraging that we want to give up. But we can’t. We must go on.

So keep setting goals. And if you face obstacles, don’t retreat. Simply adjust your strategies and learn from your setbacks.

Remember that the only thing we truly have control over is our actions. When you realize that, you are able to leverage challenges into advantages.

Aim for wealth, but don’t get distracted

In my experience, the healthiest way of pursuing wealth is by not being attached to possessions and money.

So many of us get distracted by the promise of a wealthy future that we forget to enjoy the present. We’re stuck in this permanent waiting room. “I’ll be happy once I become successful.” Why wait?

We forget to look around us.

Life is good the way it is. Why? Because it’s all you have.

You might as well enjoy it.

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