The Modern Stoicism Podcast Hits Episode 10!

Earlier this year, Modern Stoicism launched something new – at least for this organization – a podcast, in which the host and editor, Adam Piercey, interviews guests who have made contributions to modern practices and interpretations of that ancient philosophy. Listenership has been growing steadily, and the Modern Stoicism Podcast provides an excellent supplement to other media in which Stoicism gets discussed.

Today, we are happy to report that the podcast has hit an important milestone. We’re publishing the tenth episode here in Stoicism Today (as well as on all of the many platforms where the podcast can be found) in this very post. The title of this one is “Adam the Host Answers Questions about Podcasting and Practice!”

[buzzsprout episode=’5192212′ player=’true’]

As editor of Stoicism Today and as a team member of Modern Stoicism, Ltd., I was one of the people interviewed in the first ten episodes, and I would like to not only congratulate Adam for bringing the podcast to this point, but also to sing his praises a bit. Podcasts are somewhat deceptive, as they sound almost effortless to the casual listener. Intros slide right into to thoughtful discussions of topics, going just the right amount of time before they finish up with an outro. That’s all due to hours and hours of recording and then laborious editing work. Schedules have to be aligned between host and guest, and that’s just a bit of the preparatory work that goes into each episode. So Adam has been generously devoting significant time, thought, and effort to this project, and for that the entire Modern Stoicism Team thanks him (and maybe you readers and listeners might want to do that as well).

Previous Episodes

If you missed them when they came out, or you’d like to listen to them again (or download them for later), here are the nine earlier episodes.

Episode 9:

Episode 8:

Episode 7:

Episode 6:

Episode 5:

Episode 4:

Episode 3:

Episode 2:

Episode 1:

A Special Give-Away To Commemorate the Occasion

We’re giving away 3 signed copies of books by Donald Robertson! We have 2 signed copies of The Meditations, and 1 signed copy of The Philosophy of CBT.

To enter into the giveaway, simply add a comment to this blog post with some feedback on what you think about the podcast so far (good or bad!) And we will randomly select 3 lucky winners! Details for the winners will be collected once they have been announced.

Another Interview With Adam

Even after talking with Adam before we recorded our episode, and during that interview, there are a lot of things I’d like to ask him about. I sent off a set of questions to him earlier this week, and here are his responses to those. I think you’ll find them interesting!

Why do you think it’s important for Modern Stoicism to have a podcast?

As an organization, Modern Stoicism already has so many avenues to connect with people, but after following the Stoicism Today blog I noticed that there were many contributors that were new to readers, and who shared some very interesting views on this practice. I think it’s interesting to people to try and dive into some of these topics further, in a different medium, where we can here directly from the authors – and a podcast can do that in a very unique way.

How did you get into Stoicism? Would you describe yourself as a Stoic? Why or why not?

Growing up there were always books on classical literature, philosophy, and history in my house, so I was aware of names like Socrates, Cicero, and Marcus Aurelius at a pretty young age. The stories of classical mythology and classical warfare rounded out my interests, and I even spent some time at Queen’s University studying Classical History. Alongside this, I had always struggled with finding a direction for myself which I could use to harness my mind and my emotions. Even before beginning my practice of Stoicism, I believed that the mind could be honed to act as a tool, or reinforced to act as a citadel for ourselves, so when I took the step to really investigate and research Stoicism, I found that it resonated with me in both my thoughts on the subject, and with new concepts that it brought to my attention.

What made you want to put in all the work, thought, and planning that goes into a podcast? And why this podcast in particular?

I believe that which you practice most regularly is that which you will embody. Couple that with my interest in the Zen practice called Beginner’s Mind, and it’s safe to say that I wanted to put my efforts into this podcast because I wanted to surround myself with like-minded individuals, and learn as much as I possibly could on the subject. I was also hoping that a podcast within the Modern Stoicism community might lend itself to generating some good discussion, and perhaps give an avenue for some new, and different views.

Podcast editing seems like it could be a never-ending task. There’s always something that could be tweaked or improved. How do you keep yourself on-point and get the episodes out on time? Any tips?

Tip #1: Choose to do a podcast on a topic that you love and enjoy being immersed in. It doesn’t matter if there are 1000 podcasts about Baseball, if you love it then it will show in your willingness to put in the effort, and your enthusiasm for the subject, when you record the podcast.

Tip #2: Pre-record as much as you possibly can. Many of the segments that go into the final edit of the podcast are pre-recorded and re-used for every episode. It saves time, saves effort, and if you’re stuck on an edit late at night one day, it’s great when you can just drop a bit of audio in and call it a day.

How have you found the process of doing the podcast so far? Any unexpected challenges that arose? Did Stoicism help with dealing with those?

The process of creating the podcast has been good so far, though I will say that I have had to learn quite a bit. But the guests have been very encouraging and willing to participate, and the feedback that we have gotten has been overwhelmingly positive.

In terms of unexpected challenges, I would say that I never thought it took as long as it does to edit and publish a single episode of the podcast. So, as the time drags on and I run through the audi files, clip the segments, and merge them together, I just keep on remembering that this is just how it is. It wouldn’t really help if I yelled at the computer, or got angry about the editing time – it is what it is, and that’s that.

What was your favorite moment or discussion from the podcast so far?

I think that my favorite discussion so far has been the episode with Brittany Polat on the subject of oikeiosis – or Stoic development. Brittany is incredibly knowledgeable on the subject, and brought a real honesty to the conversation about both her research and her feelings. In previous episodes, I had been quite hesitant in getting involved with the converdation too much, so this is the first episode where I really felt like I jumped in and added my own points. It was nerve-wracking, but I think that the outcome was a verry good podcast with some really interesting dialogue.

You’ve made it through ten episodes, which is quite an accomplishment. Looking back, what have you learned in that process?

First thing I have learned, is that I knew nothing about creating a podcast before I put together the first, introductory episode. Roman Mars, Helen Zaltzmann, and Avery Trufffleman make it sound so easy, but there is a lot of work that goes into each episode.

Second thing, is that you should try and fgure out what your voice in the podcast is going to be. I have bounced around a bit in some of the episodes, going from the voice of a novice to the voice of a veteran, from merely asking questions to generating discussion. If you can find the voice that you think best suits you, it makes it much easier to set the tone for your episodes as you record them.

From the people who haven’t yet come on to the podcast, who would you really like to get on it, and why that person or persons?

My first thought is Donna Zuckerberg, because although I haven’t read her book yet, “Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age”, it sounds intriguing and is a discussion I would love to give some traction to. Stoicism touches people from so many different walks of life, and I want to try and showcase that for us. It’s not simply one kind of person that can find a home here, we all can.

22 thoughts on The Modern Stoicism Podcast Hits Episode 10!

  1. Dylan says:

    It’s a fantastic podcast and I’m so glad to have this as an added resource in my own practice. Thank you to everyone who makes this happen!

  2. Brandon Bayles says:

    Like where the podcast is heading…looking for some meatball er content!!

  3. Damien Ryan says:

    Loving the podcast. Quick comment on episode 10 – don’t be afraid of using the world diverse without any justification. Diversity is good and the only way we’re going to make this world any better.
    Looking forward to next week already.

  4. Nicole Pitthan Silveira says:

    I don’t know if this giveaway is open worldwide (I’m from Brazil) but if it isn’t I won’t mind not being able to participate.
    I’ve found out about this website and podcast only a month ago when I started my journey to learn about Stoicism. I already had contact with the philosophy before at university but only for academic purposes not for my life , which I am doing it now.
    The work you are doing is helping me so much. The podcast is good tool to share knowledge quickly and widely. I am very grateful for all the this amazing work. Thank you very much.

  5. Chet Kemp says:

    Congrats on hitting Episode 10. I’ve enjoyed listening; I’m a podcaster myself and I know the work that goes into it.
    I’m also to see the strong Canadian content in the Modern Stoic movement. I look forward to flying in for Stoicon when Fortune allows such things again.

  6. Chet Kemp says:

    *happy to see strong Canadian content

  7. Neil Acquatella says:

    I do really appreciate the work you guys at Modern Stoicism have put out to provide us with such valuable interviews on the Podcast.
    In today’s day an age, the insights provided on Stoicism by first class authors and practitioners on our daily life’s applications of this philosophy, I’m sure have provided many of us with relief and assurance to see the world in a much more bearable way.
    Congrats and keep ‘em coming!

  8. Clayton Knappenberger says:

    One thing I really appreciate about the podcast is how Adam is really interested in exploring techniques for building our Stoic practice. I feel like a lot of us in the community are getting past the “what is Stoicism?” and are trying to grow into *being* practicing Stoics, but I’m not sure where to begin since a lot of work being done out there is aimed at introducing people to the philosophy rather than training people on how to live. Hearing Adam say that he isn’t sure where to look either made me feel seen!

  9. Nirmal S Kartha says:

    I’ve been practising (trying to, at least!) Stoicism for ~4 years now, ever since I chanced upon Ryan Holiday’s Obstacle is the Way. I prefer to read the new-age works (Donald, Massimo, William, Ryan etc.) and the podcast is beautifully in line with that sensibility.
    Currently, I’m trying to create my own hybrid form of Stoicism, borrowing insights from Vipassana meditation (Sam Harris’s Waking Up is my mainstay meditation app), Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset, David Goggins’s work on mental toughness and much more. I particularly liked the episode with David McFadzean on the Stoic Manager, as it not only ties well to my approach in the workplace but also helps me become better at it.
    I think you are on the right track with having diverse voices (never heard of David before the podcast!) because all of us have so many different needs, interests and dimensions to our lives (for instance, Podcast #9 resonated more with my friend because she is more interested in including health in her life philosophy than me) that could be benefitted from people who have thought more deeply about the specifics of these issues. As suggestions, I would like to hear voices who might be proactively or unknowingly using Stoic principles in different domains (athletes, teachers, programmers, parents, artists etc.). I would also like to hear people like Donald, Massimo etc. speak about approaching topical/universal hardships like the pandemic, recession etc. or universal projects like friendship, rejection, love, partnership, failure etc. from a Stoic perspective. I would also be interested to hear your conversations with mindfulness practitioners because I believe that the intersection between the 2 practices is a spiritually and intellectually fertile area.
    Today’s podcast was quite fun and made the host, Adam, more approachable in my head. It was interesting to hear some of the tidbits about the podcasting process (volume, reusing sound bytes etc.) especially since I listen to a diverse set of podcasts and I never bothered to think about the work that goes into each till now! The chemistry between Adam and his interviewer/friend Cecile was quite sweet and made for a nice listen. Lastly, I loved how the podcast idea began over beer at an Austrian pub, of all the places!
    I personally feel 30 mins is too less a time to probe deeper into some of the topics within Stoicism. I would recommend having certain deeper 1-2 hour episodes, as the podcast progresses because as it stands, it serves as a good introductory launchpad or nice brief reminders. I feel that the absence of time constraints without any financial restrictions, really facilitate deep conversations that try to get to the bottom of things. It is just 10 episodes (but a notable worthy achievement as well! Good job!), I know but I think having people all across the world, of different colours, creed, gender, sexuality etc. would not only help me understand Stoicism but also perspectives and lived experiences of people different from me, better! I think merchandise was briefly mentioned in the podcast – I totally agree! I have a Stoic t-shirt that I designed myself because I wanted one and that has served as good icebreakers and conversation starters for many of my interactions. People seem to be genuinely curious and wanted to know more because the word “Stoic” has quite a bad rep – both from the point of view of cold indifference and the “Stoic-bro” culture.
    Anyways, I hope my comment is of some use to you folks. Good luck with the project!

  10. Shaun says:

    I am a pretty new to my exploration of Stoicism, so I am glad to have found this podcast and the Modern Stoicism community overall. I like the direction of the podcast-looking forward to more episodes and milestones!

  11. john says:

    super and educative podcast. thank you.

  12. Nirmal S Kartha says:

    My original comment got deleted for some reason. Adding a new one, amor fati 🙂
    Congratulations on reaching the 10th episode! I have been trying to practice Stoicism as mindfully as I can over the past 4 years ever since I picked up Ryan Holiday’s “Obstacle is the Way”. I have read only the new works (Donald, Massimo, Irvine, Holiday), have participated in SMRT 2020 and the podcast is nicely in line with that general style. The podcast primarily serves as useful focused reminders about specific practices and concepts within Stoic philosophy, for me. I think it is also a great introduction to people who want to explore the subject more, 30-40 mins at a time (or lesser than that at 2x speed!), per week.
    The podcast has helped me discover more interesting voices within Stoicism. For instance, I found the episode with David on the Stoic Manager to be extremely useful for any professional pursuit and saved the 8 points inside a Memory Palace for quick recall. I think this episode mentioned inclusivity and diversity. Absolutely on board with that, since all of us are have such different and rich dimensions, aspects and interests within us. For instance, Tara’s episode on health resonated more with my friend for whom health is an important aspect to be approached from the PoV of a life philosophy.
    The 10th episode helped make the host, Adam, more approachable to me (he always had a pleasant voice) and it was very interesting to hear the thought & work that went into the positioning of the podcast series and each episode. Also loved the chemistry between Adam and his interviewer/friend, Cecily!
    A few suggestions: Right now, each episode is 20-40 mins long, which, according to me, is insufficient to probe a specific topic deeper. As the series progresses, maybe have a few deeper 1-2 hr episodes? I would like to hear more stories and experiences from people from different professions (athletes, doctors, parents, teachers, artists, programmers, business leaders, managers etc.) who proactively or unknowingly apply Stoic principles to their craft. Having people from all walks of life – gender, colour, sexuality, ethnicity, religion etc. – on the show will also help listeners gain a richer understanding of Stoicism, the human experience and become a better cosmopolitan, like the Stoic masters envisioned! Lastly, I would also like to see people like Donald, Massimo etc. share their thoughts on and dissect universal or topical human challenges/problems/endeavours like the pandemic, loss, rejection, love, failure, friendship etc. from a Stoic perspective.
    I am currently trying to create and follow my own hybrid life philosophy that incorporates elements of Stoicism, Vipasana meditation (Sam Harris’s Waking Up is my mainstay resource of this), Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset, David Goggins’s insights on resilience etc. It would definitely be interesting to hear from more experienced people who are playing around with and developing their own composite life philosophies.
    Kudos to the team and keep it coming! The community will be backing you 🙂

  13. Thomas says:

    Found and the podcast within the last (yes!) hour, listening to the “Adam the Host…” episode. This came about after a simple search of the term “stoic” on Spotify. I’m thankful to have found the podcast and, as a deep-diver on any media new to me, I plan to listen to all of the preceding episodes in short order, as well as crashing into the site’s search bar. // As I noticed this bit of feedback on a couple of posts here, I do enjoy having a range of podcasts in my ear on a regular basis, with my personal best time for comprehension and attention falling into the 30-45 minute range. As a daily walker through this pandemic phase, I’ve found that a podcast of that time allows me a chance to sample a couple of very different audio experiences on a single, long walk, which I value. Understanding that some topics do need more time, my brain seems to really take in valued info at this 30-45 minute length of time. // Thanks for all who’ve been involved in this effort. My Stoic “practice,” rudimentary as it is, dates only about a year and I’m thrilled to find this new resource; I’ve been needing to reboot with some new voices and am thankful to have *just* found this one. Best wishes to all reading this.

  14. Lizette says:

    I listen to other podcasts on Stoicism as well, but I have to say that this one is my favourite. Adam does a great job with getting his guests to talk about the subject, whereas some of the other hosts do most of the talking which does get tedious at some point. I loved Cecily’s interviewing Adam because it also allows me as the listener to understand his journey is like mine, we want to learn more so that we can improve our own practice. I say well done to Adam and keep up the good work! I usually share on Twitter, so you are welcome to tag me directly if you want to spread the word about a specific topic or episode.

  15. KASEY PIERCE says:

    This is a wonderful podcast with great content! Adam, the host, asks thought-provoking questions that expand further on the different facets of Stoicism and its modern application. This is a must-recommend for those interested in Stoicism and new approaches to life!

  16. I very like this podcast and Adam is getting better with every episodes. Imagine how much he can improve after another 10 episodes! Anyway, thank you for this. Cheers!

  17. Mike Braico says:

    I’m new to stoicism, like in my first month. I’m trying to soak up as much as I can because it really speaks to me as an amazing practice for a peaceful mind. I suffer from anxiety and learning to not worry about things out of my control speaks wonders to me. There are many podcasts out there but yours is helping me conquer my anxiety. Thank you.

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