Daily Touch of Inspirations

September 20th: Life isn't a dance

Ryan Holiday, The 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, because an artful life requires being prepared to meet and withstand sudden and unexpected attacks.— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.16


Dancing is a popular metaphor for life. One must be limber and agile and go along with the music. One must feel and follow and flow with their partner. But anyone who has tried to do something difficult, where there is competition or an adversary, knows that the dancing metaphor is insufficient.

For a wrestler, on the other hand, adversity and the unexpected are part and parcel of what they do. Their sport is a battle, just like life. They are fighting an opponent as well as their own limitations, emotions, and training.

Life, like wrestling, requires more than graceful movement. We have to undergo hard training and cultivate an indomitable will to prevail. Philosophy is the steel against which we sharpen that will and strengthen that resolve.

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom Perseverance and Art of Living

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