Simone Salis

How Dead People Can Inspire You to Become the Perfect Stoic

As someone born and raised in Rome, I was happy to see that many people started looking to ancient Stoic wisdom to navigate uncertain times.

Twitter accounts and books about Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus revived this 2,000 years old philosophy. But Stoicism’s calm detachment remains easier to grasp in theory than to apply to everyday life. So, how do you become as wise as Epictetus?

In 1994, during a Sunday walk across the Roman Forum, my uncle shared the secret to becoming a great Stoic.

Dead people.

Dead People Make the Perfect Stoics

Just look at them. Dead people:

  • Are totally indifferent to emotions.
  • Are not concerned with material things or existence.
  • Care so little about everyday matters that they died.

This is the secret of Stoicism that no book will ever reveal to you, and no Twitter account will ever share with you.

To Be the Perfect Stoic, You Must Be Dead


Not even social accounts with a profile image of old bearded thinkers will reveal you this, but you know it’s true: this is why all great Stoics (including Zeno) have been dead for a long time.

Being dead just inside is fine. Because I can guarantee you that, if you work really hard and are consistent, one day you will become just like all great Stoics.

Without even trying.

- 16 toasts