Lesson 29

Lesson 29: BHFM and The Stoic Advisor

Weekly Habits for Success - Daily Task to The Habits for Success

“In defining the act of walking… Cleanthes held that it was spirit transmitted to the feet from the primal essence.” —Seneca, Letters From A Stoic113.23

“Your feet for walking… that’s what they were made for… And humans were made to help others—we’re doing what we were designed for.” —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations9.42

Cato the Younger is best known for his heroic defense of the Republic against Julius Caesar, but he was also famous in his own time for taking meandering walks around Rome. “Those of his friends,” Plutarch tells us, “used horses, and Cato… walked everywhere.” Why? On every walk, Plutarch tells us, Cato “made it his business to salute and address without help from others those who met him on his rounds.”

One of the habits you should be doing by now is walking. One of the best by-products of walking is that you get out into your community and get to either walk amongst the people or walk within nature.  Now, we want you to take it a step further and super-boost your walks! You do this by adding value to the world as the walk adds value to your life.

How about bringing a garbage bag and picking up trash on your walk? When you come across other people, make sure you put a giant smile on your face and say something like, “It’s a beautiful day to be out for a walk, isn’t it?” Maybe even stop and have a conversation with your neighbors or other walkers.

When my wife and I moved to a new city a while back, we knew no one. Now, I’m getting to know my neighbors because of my walks. And when I’m done walking, I open a Word document entitled, “Troy Neighbors”. On this document, I write down all the names of all the people I met on my walk with a descriptor, so I remember them. Something like, “Mike and Merilee. Flat roof at a bend in road”. “Tim and Sarah. Neighbors across the street. He’s a carpenter and she’s a school teacher”.

So before I go out for a walk, I take one minute and review that Word document, so if I run across a neighbor, I can speak the most beautiful word in the world to them: their name.

They know that I’m the guy who picks up trash on the gravel road, always has a smile, and always remembers their name.

Sure, there are a lot of things that we can all do to help out in our community, but remember, this is about baby steps. Start out with something small and build from there!

NEW TASKS: Grab a trash bag at least once per week on your walks and pick up litter on the streets. Smile at everyone you see and have a kind word to say to them!

NEW HABIT: Start a Word document to write down the names of everyone you come across on your walks, along with a descriptor of each one so you can remember their name. Take one minute and review that document before every walk so you can ensure you remember the names of everyone you might come across.