"Principles for Growth and Success: Lessons from Marcus Aurelius and the Power of Learning in Public"


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 31, 2023

3 min read


"Principles for Growth and Success: Lessons from Marcus Aurelius and the Power of Learning in Public"


In our pursuit of a better life, it is often helpful to seek guidance from those who have come before us, such as Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor. Additionally, embracing the concept of learning in public, as advocated by swyx.io, can accelerate our personal growth and enhance our ability to contribute to others. By examining the teachings of Marcus Aurelius and the principles of learning in public, we can uncover valuable insights that can shape our journey towards fulfillment and success.

1. Put People First:

Both Marcus Aurelius and the idea of learning in public emphasize the importance of prioritizing others. True greatness lies in sacrificing and struggling for the benefit of others, as a leader who places the needs of their people ahead of their own comfort and desires.

2. Focus on What's in Your Control:

A central tenet of Stoic philosophy, as well as learning in public, is the understanding that we should direct our attention towards what is within our control. Our own decisions, actions, words, and thoughts are the only aspects worthy of our attention. By recognizing this, we can free ourselves from the burden of worrying about other people's opinions or imagined troubles.

3. Embrace Effort and Progress:

Marcus Aurelius advises us to tie our well-being to our own actions, highlighting the importance of effort rather than outcomes. Similarly, learning in public encourages us to prioritize progress over perfection. By embracing the process and focusing on continuous improvement, we can overcome the pitfalls of perfectionism and achieve greater success.

4. Seek Sympathy over Outrage:

Marcus Aurelius suggests responding to injuries with sympathy rather than outrage or anger. This approach fosters empathy and understanding, enabling us to navigate conflicts and challenges with a more compassionate mindset. Learning in public encourages us to approach disagreements with a similar mindset, promoting constructive dialogue rather than hostility.

5. Strive for Self-Sufficiency:

Marcus Aurelius encourages us to make ourselves strong enough not to rely on external factors for our well-being. Similarly, learning in public urges us to seek knowledge and support from others while maintaining a sense of self-reliance. By balancing the ability to seek help when needed with personal growth, we can cultivate resilience and independence.

6. Embrace Failure and Uncomfortable Situations:

Both Marcus Aurelius and the concept of learning in public emphasize the importance of embracing discomfort and failure. By pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, we can accelerate our growth and expand our capabilities. This willingness to be wrong and learn from our mistakes is essential for personal and professional development.


Combining the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius and the principles of learning in public allows us to create a holistic approach for personal growth and success. By putting people first, focusing on what's within our control, embracing effort and progress, seeking sympathy over outrage, striving for self-sufficiency, and embracing failure, we can navigate life's challenges with resilience and wisdom.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize people: Find ways to sacrifice and support others, both in your personal and professional life. Putting people first is a mark of true greatness.
  • 2. Embrace discomfort: Seek out opportunities that challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone. Embrace failure as a necessary part of the learning process.
  • 3. Learn in public: Share your knowledge and experiences openly with others through platforms like blogs, workshops, or conferences. Embrace the power of collaboration and the collective growth that comes from learning in public.

Remember, a better life is not achieved through a single formula, but by continuously embracing growth, learning, and compassion. By incorporating these principles into our lives, we can navigate the complexities of life with grace and wisdom.

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