Modern Stoics

Stoicism has gained mainstream popularity due to its practical applicability in handling stress, adversity, and emotional turmoil. It’s a philosophy rooted in accepting life’s challenges, understanding what is within our control, and letting go of what is not. In an era of increased uncertainty and complexity, Stoicism offers a pragmatic, resilience-building approach, making it an appealing philosophy for the modern world. Its tenets are easily accessible and actionable, contributing to its popular adoption. 

“A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Taleb, a Lebanese-American scholar, statistical scientist, and former trader, revolutionized how we understand uncertainty through his “Incerto” series. Taleb espouses “Antifragility” as an approach to handling unpredictable events, arguing that instead of merely enduring randomness, we should benefit from it. His life’s work reflects Stoicism’s key themes: accepting life’s unpredictability, maintaining emotional equanimity amid chaos, and focusing on what’s within our control.

“To live in the past is to die in the present.” — Bill Belicheck

Bill Belichick, as the mastermind coach of the New England Patriots, stands out for his strategic brilliance on and off the field, In 2014, he gave each player on his team a copy of Ryan Holiday’s book on stoic philosophy, “The Obstacle is the Way,” that many players subsequently credited with putting them in the mindset to win a championship. His approach — focus on controllable factors, tune out distractions, and relentlessly improve — mirrors stoic principles. He takes things in stride, never overreacts, and keeps an unwavering dedication to the task at hand.

“If you want to speak with me go read Marcus Aurelius Meditations so we can start on the same page.” — Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco, born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, is an influential Chicago-based rapper, noted for his complex lyrics and social commentary. Since his 2006 breakout album, “Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor,” he’s been a major force in conscious hip hop. Fiasco’s life and work embody stoicism, as he emphasizes personal ethics, self-control, and inner peace amidst life’s challenges. His reflective lyrics encourage acceptance of life’s imperfections and determination in the face of adversity, truly embodying the stoic philosophy.

“We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize that we only have one.” —Tom Hiddleston

Known for his portrayals of complex characters, including Marvel’s enigmatic Loki, Tom Hiddleston embodies stoic principles both on screen and off. His candid discussions about navigating the unpredictable world of showbiz reflect a stoic acceptance of external factors as inherently uncertain and beyond personal control.

An admirer of Seneca’s, “On the Shortness of Life”, Hiddleston has often emphasized the importance of focusing on his craft rather than the fame and accolades that accompany it. This embodies the stoic notion of “dichotomy of control,” where one differentiates between what’s within one’s control (self-improvement, actions) and what’s not (others’ opinions, outcomes).