The Modern Stoic #31: Chasing Happiness (Away) | Voices in the Dark
Centuries before the arrival of social media and rolling news channels, people were still chasing happiness and still finding themselves miserable as a result. Seneca picks apart the issue, pre-empting 21st century psychological and sociological studies, and his words of wisdom have a lot to teach us about how to actually enjoy our lives. Lucilius has been whining to Seneca – he's unhappy in life, but is blaming circumstances, his upbringing and everyone else around him for how he's feeling. Seneca isn't impressed. The only person who can change how we respond to our lives is us... so how do we go about taking that responsibility effectively? Drawing on Letter 44 ('On Philosophy and Pedigrees'), this week's episode digs into the perils of chasing fame and fortune, but also the very real hells we make for ourselves by trying to 'find' happiness and yet never quite feeling like we do. What if we think of happiness as a disposition or an attitude? We can be miserable in the best of