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    Jake Seliger On Cancer, Acceptance, And The Gift Of Life

    enSeptember 23, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Technology's Impact on Healthcare and Personal GrowthTechnology is transforming healthcare and personal growth, with affordable online ED treatments, accessible virtual therapy, and convenient auto insurance quotes.

      Technology is revolutionizing access to healthcare and therapy, making it more convenient, affordable, and private. HIMS is leading the charge in men's health by providing affordable ED treatments online, while Talkspace is making therapy more accessible through virtual sessions. Progressive Insurance also offers convenience and savings through easy auto insurance quotes. As Ryan Holiday reflects on the ancient Stoic philosophy, he encourages us to embrace life's challenges and make the most of every moment, even as we face the end. These innovations and philosophies remind us to prioritize our health, wellbeing, and personal growth, no matter our circumstances.

    • Finding peace in the face of adversityDespite life's uncertainties and challenges, we can find peace and inspire others through resilience and Stoic philosophy.

      Life is unpredictable and uncertain, and we should make the most of the time we have, even in the face of adversity. This was evident in the story of Marcus, who faced his own mortality with grace and philosophical reflection. More recently, this message resonated with Jake Seliger, who is dealing with a terminal illness. Despite the challenges he faces, Jake continues to write and share his insights, inspiring others with his wisdom and resilience. The Stoic philosophy, as outlined in Massimo Pigliucci's book "How to be a Stoic," can help us navigate the ups and downs of life and find peace in the midst of uncertainty. We can learn from Jake's example and be of service to him and his family during this difficult time by donating to his GoFundMe page.

    • People and relationships enrich our livesRefocus priorities to value people and relationships, as they bring meaning and joy to our lives

      As we navigate through life, we may overlook the importance of relationships and people in our priorities. When we reflect on our regrets or the things whose significance has changed, we often realize that we should have focused more on building connections with others. Whether it's making friends, learning to work well with people, or simply cherishing the time we spend with them, people are what truly enriches our lives. The conversation and relationships we facilitate are often what we value most at the end of our lives. However, it's easy to lose sight of this organizing principle when making day-to-day decisions or evaluating past choices. It's essential to remember that people and relationships should be a priority, not an afterthought. A beautiful example of this comes from the poet William Stafford, who cherished the moments he spent with his family and the conversations they had, which he saw as a potential eulogy.

    • Appreciating the present moment and prioritizing meaningful connectionsReceiving a terminal diagnosis can make us reevaluate relationships and focus on what truly matters, reminding us to be mindful of time and not let it slip away on trivial matters.

      Facing a terminal diagnosis changes one's perspective on life, making one appreciate the present moment and prioritize meaningful connections over small talk and pointlessness. The speaker shares his experience of receiving a diagnosis and how it made him reevaluate his relationships and focus on what truly matters. He also reflects on the human tendency to underestimate the value of time and indulge in trivial matters, while reminding us that life is unpredictable and we should make the most of every interaction. Seneca's essay on the shortness of life echoes this sentiment, urging us to be mindful of how we spend our time and not let others steal it from us.

    • Embrace the mundane moments for deeper connectionsQuality time isn't always planned; mundane moments can lead to meaningful experiences. Be authentic and vulnerable to unlock creativity and cherish every moment.

      The pressure to make every moment in relationships or personal experiences perfect can hinder genuine connection. Instead, embracing the mundane moments, like running errands or watching TV together, can lead to meaningful experiences. Quality time doesn't always have to be planned and anticipated; sometimes, it can be found in unexpected moments. Additionally, the fear of self-consciousness or impostor syndrome can prevent us from sharing our thoughts and ideas freely. By being more vulnerable and authentic, we can unlock creativity and potentially produce greater work. Life's limitations, such as death and loss, remind us of the importance of cherishing every moment, both the seemingly insignificant and the profound.

    • Unexpected emotions and realizations at the end of lifeReflect on the insignificance of petty grievances, identify your audience and purpose in creative pursuits, and find meaning in experiences by focusing on what truly matters.

      Dealing with the end of life can bring up unexpected emotions and realizations. Beth, an officer who frequently interacts with dying patients, shares how some confess their impending death but lack empathy from others. This experience makes her reflect on the insignificance of petty grievances in the face of death. The creative process, whether it's writing, art, or business, can serve as a way to deny death and leave a legacy. It's essential to identify your audience and purpose, as it's impossible to please everyone. The speaker shares her personal experiences with taking vitamins from Thorne, a company that offers personalized and scientifically-backed supplements. By focusing on what truly matters in life, we can find meaning and positivity in our experiences.

    • Exploring the Power of Writing for Personal Growth and UnderstandingDell Technologies and Intel leaders find joy and clarity through writing, focusing on specificity and personal experience, and drawing inspiration from great thinkers like Marcus Aurelius.

      Dell Technologies and Intel are innovating to bring ideas to life and find meaningful fulfillment in their creative pursuits. The speaker reflects on the power of writing as a means of expression and understanding, especially when tackling complex philosophical questions. Both individuals find joy and clarity in writing for themselves and their audiences, recognizing the importance of specificity and personal experience in their work. Despite challenges and uncertainties, they continue to explore their strengths and passions, drawing inspiration from great writers like Marcus Aurelius who focused on the particular. Ultimately, their dedication to their craft provides a therapeutic and clarifying outlet for grappling with life's biggest questions.

    • The power of authenticity and vulnerability in artAuthentic, raw art resonates deeply, even if not intended for us. Discovering old works can feel like a time travel or subconscious tap.

      Authentic, raw, and real writing or art can resonate deeply with people, even if it's not explicitly intended for them. Mark Suresh's meditations, written in Greek and for himself, became a universally successful work of art due to its authenticity and vulnerability. Great writing or art can have a latency period, where it may not fully land with us until we experience something similar. Additionally, there's a magical quality to discovering old writings or art that we've encountered before and finding relevance in them for our current experiences. These discoveries can feel like we've traveled through time or tapped into our subconscious, reminding us of the value of storing and revisiting knowledge.

    • Appreciating the temporary nature of lifeThe Stoics teach us to cherish life as a temporary gift and recognize our connection to the universe through the cycle of existence

      Life is a temporary gift that we must cherish and return. This perspective, as discussed, can help us appreciate the vastness of humanity and the fleeting nature of our physical form. The Stoics believed that we are mere trustees of our bodies, which will eventually be reclaimed by the universe. This realization, though daunting, can also bring a sense of sublime connection to the world and all of humanity. It's essential to remember that we were once non-existent and will eventually cease to exist, but the energy and matter that make up our bodies come from the stars and will continue to exist in some form. Embracing this perspective can help us reorient our focus and appreciate the gift of life rather than dwelling on what we haven't accomplished or what we've lost.

    • Businesses and individuals streamline operations with NetSuite and Rocket MoneySmart businesses transition to NetSuite for streamlined financial management, reduced costs, and eliminating errors. Individuals save money using Rocket Money to cancel subscriptions and lower bills, averaging $720 in savings annually. Embrace life experiences and relationships, acknowledging their impermanence for a richer perspective.

      Smart businesses are transitioning to NetSuite by Oracle for streamlined financial management, reducing IT and maintenance costs, and eliminating manual errors. NetSuite, the leading cloud financial system, offers accounting, financial management, inventory, and HR in one platform, used by over 37,000 companies. Meanwhile, individuals can save money by using personal finance apps like Rocket Money, which helps cancel unwanted subscriptions and lower bills, saving users an average of $720 a year. Seneca's philosophy encourages making the most of life experiences, and the speaker shares their own experiences, acknowledging the potential for loss but focusing on the value of the moments we own. By considering the impermanence of life, we can appreciate the importance of our experiences and the relationships we build.

    • Finding peace in the present moment and accepting changeEmbrace the present, accept change, and find happiness in uncertain situations. Holding on too tightly can hinder progress.

      Cherishing the present moment and accepting the inevitability of change can bring peace and contentment. The speaker drew inspiration from a story about physicist Richard Feynman, who found happiness in his relationship with a dying woman and later realized that the future didn't have to be as good as the present because he had experienced such happiness. The speaker also acknowledged the concept of regression to the mean and the importance of accepting loss. They emphasized that focusing too much on holding on to things can hinder progress and that it's essential to accept the uncertainty and ambiguity of situations. The speaker also mentioned the importance of starting the process, even if the outcome is uncertain, and finding comfort in the present moment while accepting the possibility of loss.

    • The human cost of societal failuresDuring crises, prioritizing prevention and action over appearances can save lives and prevent invisible graveyards.

      The invisible graveyard refers to the unseen consequences of societal failures and inactions. During the pandemic, the concept became particularly relevant as it highlighted the human cost of delayed vaccine distribution and inadequate responses to crises like the opioid epidemic. The FDA's risk aversion and bureaucratic slowness resulted in preventable deaths, creating an invisible graveyard. This concept is not just limited to the healthcare sector; it can be seen in various aspects of society where inaction or negligence leads to human suffering. The pandemic served as a stark reminder that addressing these issues requires a shift in priorities, valuing prevention and action over appearances and optics.

    • Overlooking preventable sufferingWe have the power to make a difference in preventing suffering, but often ignore it due to collective indifference and self-delusion. It's important to acknowledge and address suffering, even if it seems politically impossible or unchangeable.

      We often overlook or ignore the suffering of others, even when we have the power to make a difference. This can lead to a collective indifference that perpetuates preventable suffering. The speaker uses the example of Hans Chancellor and the hotspot issue, but this concept applies to many profound injustices. The idea that we can delude ourselves into believing that certain issues are politically impossible or unchangeable, when in reality, we could make a difference if we chose to. The speaker also references Camus' "The Fall" and the idea of invisible graveyards, where suffering goes unnoticed and unaddressed. The moral injury of allowing this to continue is profound and can haunt us. The speaker's hope is that others will learn from this and strive to improve the world, even if it's just one small part of it. Ultimately, the meaning of life could be to leave the world better than we found it.

    • Appreciating the Value of CommunicationExpressing gratitude for opportunities to share thoughts and experiences, acknowledging effort, promoting continued writing and creativity, and emphasizing the importance of communication and learning from others.

      Communication, no matter how difficult, is valuable and appreciated. In the discussion, the speaker expresses gratitude for the opportunity to share thoughts and experiences, acknowledging the effort required to do so. They also express optimism and support for continued writing and creativity. Additionally, the speaker promotes other podcasts, specifically Guy Raz's "How I Built This," highlighting the value of entrepreneurial stories and insightful interviews. Overall, the conversation emphasizes the importance of communication and the value of sharing experiences and learning from others.

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