Lessons in fear from the whaling ship Essex

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. Marcus Aurelius 121 – 180 AD On August 12, 1819, the whale ship Essex and its crew of 29 sailors set out from Nantucket, Massachusetts on what was intended to be a two and a half year journey to whaling grounds off the west coast of South America. Only two days after leaving port, the Essex encountered a storm that did considerable damage to the vessel. But …
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Are you a risk taker?

Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind. Leonardo da Vinci 1452 – 1519 How would you answer the question, “Are you a risk taker?” If you’re like most people, you probably want to know to the nature of the gamble: putting money in the stock market; investing in a business; changing jobs or even professions; moving to a different part of the country; or something else entirely. All of those actions could be considered high risk; it all depends on how you …
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Choices

We always have a choice about the content and character of our inner lives. Epictetus 55 – 135 A.D. I enjoy reading the comic strips in the newspaper. Frequently, they offer a bit of humor — a pleasant diversion in our troubling world. And sometimes they offer great insight into life and how to live it. (I consider either one a win.) A few years ago, a Hagar the Horrible strip contained a good lesson in life. In case you aren’t familiar with the strip, Hagar is a Viking whose livelihood involves raiding and plundering richer civilizations. On this particular …
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