Amor Fati

Last night I listened to an episode of Tim Ferriss podcast where he shares a chapter of the audiobook by Ryan Holliday: The Obstacle is the Way.  I've lost the episode and I can neither find it on my phone or my computer.  That's fine... gives me more motivation to jot this down.

In this chapter, Holliday opened with a story of how there was a night where Thomas Edison’s factory had caught on fire.  And due to the unusual chemicals, there was no way the fire department could do anything but let it burn to the ground.  Edison looked for his son, so the story goes, and said to him, “go and get your mother.  You’re never going to see a fire like this again in your life!”

Holliday takes away from that a sense of having been impressed with Edison.  Edison had gone beyond merely avoiding getting upset when tragedy struck.  He found a way to enjoy it.  Amor fati!  Love your fate, says Holliday.

I find it admirable as well.  I believe that when I don’t stop to ask why something happened to me, that I am much calmer and much happier.  And I like that Holliday is challenging the reader to take that to this next level of appreciating whatever it is that happens.  If I appreciate my tragedies, there is nearly nothing to be unhappy about and much to celebrate.

A question that comes up for me is whether I need my sense of discontent to be motivated to act to improve situations that would normally be stressful.