Good Fortune



'Good Fortune' is dedicated to understanding, practicing, and maintaining a Stoic outlook towards life.


  • Episode 19: Virtue

    17/03/2020 Duration: 15min

    In this episode, Matt Van Natta talks about the Stoic view of Virtue. Questions asked and answered: How does Stoicism describe virtue? But what is virtue? How can we be virtuous?

  • Episode 18: Conflict

    04/02/2020 Duration: 16min

    In this episode, Matt Van Natta talks about how Stoics deal with personal conflict. Questions asked and answered: What is the Stoic view of personal conflict? How does a Stoic respond to conflict? How does this radical viewpoint apply to life today?

  • Episode 17: The Stoic Fool

    16/09/2019 Duration: 23min

    In this episode, Matt Van Natta talks about why Stoics will sometimes be considered foolish by others. Questions asked and answered: Why would practitioners of philosophy be considered foolish? What benefit is there to being foolish in the Stoic way? How can I be certain I'm being Stoically foolish and not generally foolish?

  • Episode 16: Progress

    03/04/2018 Duration: 16min

    In this episode, Matt Van Natta addresses progress in Stoic philosophy. Questions asked and answered: How do Stoics define Progress? How does a Stoic practice the philosophy? How can we know if we're missing the point of Stoicism?

  • Episode 15 - Stoic Self-Care

    02/08/2017 Duration: 15min

    In this episode, Matt Van Natta addresses Stoic self-care. Questions asked and answered: What does Stoicism advise, when I've had my fill of life's stresses? How can I find personal harmony in a discordant world? Why does Stoicism recommend brief and basic mental renewal?

  • Extrasode 14.5 The Good Fortune Handbook

    03/07/2017 Duration: 01min

    The Good Fortune Handbook consists of the transcripts of thirteen Good Fortune podcast episodes along with additional posts of the past five years from the website, Immoderate Stoic. Whether you read it cover to cover, or use the helpful appendixes to jump to specific questions about Stoic practice, this handbook is a useful companion on your Stoic journey.

  • Episode 14 - Self-Restraint

    09/06/2017 Duration: 17min

    In this episode, Matt Van Natta addresses Stoic self-restraint. Questions asked and answered: Why does Stoicism advise self-restraint? What sort of restraint is advised? Must I reign myself in forever, or can I loosen up eventually?

  • Episode 13 - Death and an Epitaph for Ourselves

    06/04/2017 Duration: 13min

    In Episode 13 of Good Fortune I tackle death. Death is a huge topic and this podcast tends to come in at around 15 minutes, so please understand that I'll be covering only a glint of a facet of what the philosophy has to say. Also, this episode rests on the foundation of Episode 12, titled "Frightened of Change?" I'd suggest listening to it first. This episode's questions: What is death, to the Stoic? Why should we continuously confront death? How can we come to accept death?

  • Episode 12 - Frightened of Change?

    06/04/2017 Duration: 17min

    In this episode we discuss the importance of accepting change. The discussion is meant to lay the groundwork for Episode 13 which will concern DEATH. This episode's questions: Exactly how close to nature's heart is change? So the ancient Stoics were really hung up on change, what's it matter? What are the benefits of perceiving and accepting that the universe is ever-changing?

  • Episode 11 - Uprooting Fear

    06/04/2017 Duration: 18min

    This episode's questions: What's the Stoic view of fear and do Stoics experience it? The Stoics say that is all in my head but, if so, my head is really good at generating fear. What should I do about that? Outside of reigning in my imagination, how can I Stoicially confront fear? In this episode I draw heavily from a Stoic Week 2014 talk given by John Sellars

  • Episode 10 - Physical Exercises

    06/04/2017 Duration: 15min

    In this episode I look into physical exercises that can enhance Stoic practice. The ancient Stoics believed that confronting discomfort and pain was essential if one was to live the flourishing life. If anything, the modern ability to wrap ourselves in comfort makes these practices all the more relevant.

  • Episode 9 - Resources

    06/04/2017 Duration: 16min

    In this episode I recommend books and other resources that can help the stoic practitioner. I cover the ancient texts, modern books, and online resources that are available.

  • Episode 8 - When We Stumble

    06/04/2017 Duration: 14min

    Sometimes we stumble and don't know how to get back on track. In episode 8 I ask what we can do to recover when we fail at our philosophy. This week's questions: How am I supposed to react when I screw up? How can I stop blaming myself (should I stop blaming myself?) when the fact is I really did do something wrong? What exercise can get me back into my Stoic practice?

  • Extrasode 7.5 - How Stoics Treat Jerks

    06/04/2017 Duration: 08min

    In this extrasode I read the post How Stoic Treat Jerks, from this blog. Another article, Citizen of the World, is mentioned in passing. How Stoics Treat Jerks bridges the concepts laid out in episode 7 and those that will come up next week in episode 8.

  • Episode 7 - When People Are Obstacles

    06/04/2017 Duration: 15min

    This week I cover the Stoic way to deal with challenging people. I draw from Aurelius' Meditations as we look at a how to think about our situation and as we learn to apply the Stoic Reserve Clause to our future planning.

  • Episode 6 - Handling Distressing News

    06/04/2017 Duration: 13min

    This week I cover the Stoic way to receive bad news. We spend time in Epictetus' Discourses, Book 3, Chapter 28 and talk about the hegemonikon (ruling faculty of the mind) and Stoic indifference. I wrap up by discussing how to use the practice of Physical Definition (as mentioned in Episode 3) to decide what to do in light of distressing events.

  • Extrasode 5.5 - Stoicism and the Blues

    06/04/2017 Duration: 08min

    As you'll hear in today's extrasode, I have a new job! This is a good thing (a prefered indifferent) but this week it gobbled up all my free time. That said, I did not want simply leave the week silent, so my solution is Ep. 5.5. I read a post I wrote in 2011, titled Stoicism and the Blues. In it, I write about using Stoic thought to combat depression. I've learned more since then, but my general approach to depressive episodes is still the same. By the way, if you want a good sense of what living with depression is like, or if you do know and want to feel understood, be sure to read Hyperbole and a Half's Depression Part 2. It's amazing.

  • Episode 5 - A Stoic End to the Day

    06/04/2017 Duration: 11min

    In this episode I review a common Stoic practice, the Evening (or Retrospective) Meditation. Beginning with the exercise itself, I later cover potential pitfalls if the exercise is misunderstood, and an alternative use that applies to parents.

  • Episode 4 - What We Control

    06/04/2017 Duration: 13min

    In this episode I cover the dichotomy of control as found in chapter one of the Enchiridion. I also cover the Stoic practice called "suspension of judgment."

  • Episode 3 - Attention is Fundamental

    06/04/2017 Duration: 10min

    In this episode I cover the importance of attention, the fundamental Stoic spiritual attitude. I also cover the Stoic practice called 'Physical Definition,' as derived from Marcus Aurelius' Meditations.

page 1 from 2