033 – The Value of Stoicism in Personal Development and PsychoStoicism – Interview with Nick Hazelton of the Anarcho-Yakitalism Podcast

Stoicism in Personal Development with Nick Hazelton

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In this first return interview, I talk to Nick Hazelton about the philosophy, practices and value of stoicism in personal development.

Towards the end, Nick also addresses my criticisms of stoicism, and we discuss the idea of psychostoicism.
Find Nick’s podcast at an-yak.com, and the book he recommends at valiantgrowth.com/nickstoicismbook

2 thoughts on “033 – The Value of Stoicism in Personal Development and PsychoStoicism – Interview with Nick Hazelton of the Anarcho-Yakitalism Podcast”

  1. Dear Philip I really don’t see the point in going all the way back to a past philosophical movement such as stoicism and get into such a complex discussion. Besides, your interviewee, Nick Hazelton apparently seemed unprepared for this interview, since he often didn’t know or couldn’t remember many important characteristics of this philosophy to give a clear explanation about it. Moreover, I certainly don’t agree with him that negative visualization can give you a better approach to the solution of the challenge. On the contrary, I’d say that positive visualization would help you regain optimism and strength.
    Finally, if the listener has the patience to listen to the complex and rather baroque discussion, what he/she gets as a conclusion is that stoicism is similar to the more modern concept of “resilience”, that is, the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change, a skill that is indeed, crucial to acquire and develop, as it is the capacity for acceptance. The resilience needed to face a fatal loss, or a chonic illness, or an unexpected accident, the recognition involved therof, and finally the acceptance needed to face and overcome these uninvited challenges. I think that centering on these topics resilience and acceptance plus recovery would have been a clearer message for all types of audiences. Maybe this is a new idea for another podcast?

    1. Hey Roberto!

      Thanks for the comment. I think it’s interesting to observe early schools of philosophy for their historic value as the first attempts of personal development. That said, I do find them to be rough around the edges at times. I’ve found value in simply thinking about the ideas that they raise, even if I disagree.

      I have found value in stoic practices, and I know Nick has too. I especially like the concept of spheres of influences, which is as timely as ever. I’d say that the purpose of negative visualization is to celebrate what we have in the present and to prepare us ahead of time for their eventual loss. In that, it’s complementary to positive visualization (which is concerned with future gains) and not an alternative.

      I agree that further exploration of resilience and acceptance will make good future podcast episodes. I’m also planning on a review of A Guide to the Good Life: The Art of Stoic Joy where I’ll try and go into what I think holds and what doesn’t hold of stoicism in modern light – perhaps you’ll enjoy that episode more.

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