Learning is Not Enough

“That’s why the philosophers warn us not to be satisfied with mere learning, but to add practice and then training. For as time passes we forget what we learned and end up doing the opposite, and hold opinions the opposite of what we should.”


Even though I’ve been reading The Daily Stoic for nearly a full year now, and have immersed myself in the teachings of the ancient philosophers and their wisdom, I still feel really lost today.

How can that be? How can I feel adrift and sad and despairing when I’ve spent so much time learning stoic philosophy? Isn’t that supposed to save me?

The truth is that learning isn’t enough. Reading about concepts and wisdom in books is all fine and dandy — and don’t get me wrong, it’s very important — but it’s just the beginning. You need to take additional steps to implement that knowledge and put to use in your daily life.

And I think that’s where I have to try harder. I need to take what I’ve learned and practice it daily — which takes time and patience! It doesn’t happen overnight.

And simply reading the words isn’t enough, I need to train with it, all day, every day. Day in, and day out. Slowly but surely, stoicism needs to become part of the fabric of who I am, in everything I do.

Then — and only then — will I be able to live the standards I’ve learned. Because learning alone is not sufficient.

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