Finneran's Wake

Show Notes

Stoicism–named for the stoa (or covered walkway) under whose cooling shade Athenian citizens gathered and philosophers lectured–is a philosophy whose influence has stretched across the ages. It was, so many centuries ago, a philosophy to which much of the classical world subscribed. Today, despite our distaste for all things “old” (how boring!), it remains a school of thought from which we can derive many benefits. 

Brittany Polat, who’s devoted much of her life to studying and popularizing these benefits, is an author, mother, board member of multiple Stoic organizations, and creator of Stoicare, a 501c3 whose noble aim is to “share Stoicism as a holistic system of wisdom”. She was gracious enough to join me for a few hours to discuss this school of thought of which she’s such an enthusiastic and well-versed champion. 

I can’t wait to share her wisdom with you!

This episode will teach you…

The history of Stoicism; the most important Stoic thinkers with whom you should be familiar; the life of Marcus Aurelius; the Eastern influences on Stoicism; the connection between Buddhism and Stoicism; the compatibility between our Judeo-Christian tradition and Stoicism; how to employ Stoicism as a PARENT raising young children; the difference between mere mindfulness, and stoic meditation; Stoic figures throughout history; whether or not George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were stoics; how to implement a daily journaling practice; the importance of Viktor Frankl; The search for meaning in life; Rationality and Society–the two fundamental features of our species;

And much more! 

0:00 Introduction
2:00 A Journey back to ancient Greece
4:54 Happiness as the “Ultimate Good”
6:05 Epicureanism v. Stoicism
12:05 The role of Socrates
15:10 Meet the Stoics! The Cast of Characters
22:20 Similarities Between Marcus Aurelius and George Washington
29:30 Eastern influences on Stoicism
34:00 Heraclitus 
41:29 Do Stoics believe in God? 
46:23 What does Stoicism provide that Christianity lacks? 
51:31 Why Materialism has prevailed
58:10 Viktor Frankl
1:04:48 How to Parent like a Stoic
1:08:00 Are some people born Stoics? 
1:09:46 Developing a (daily) Journaling practice
1:13:40 The Difference between Mindfulness and Stoic Meditation
1:16:11 What inspired you to write this book? 
1:20:45 How do you find peace with those around you? 
1:24:24 The Serenity Prayer
1:29:48 Is Stoicism ANTI-Social? 
1:36:29 From Linguistics to Stoicism
1:40:28 Modern Stoics
1:47:00 Closing Thoughts

Brittany’s stuff: 

Books she referenced: 

“The Handbook of the Stoic Tradition”

“A Case For God”

“Some Do Care”

Links to her books: 

“Journal like a Stoic”

“Tranquility Parenting”

Brittany’s website:


My Stuff: 

Finneran’s Wake
Listen to this and all episodes on your favorite podcast streaming service: 

Please, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me a message (to which, I assure you, I’ll promptly respond!) 
Twitter: @DanielEFinneran

Email me at 

Whether you’re a Stoic or an Epicurean; an Aristotelian or a Platonist, leave a comment below! Let’s make the comments section a veritable school of Athens. 

What is Finneran's Wake?

Finneran’s Wake – where the ART OF CONVERSATION lives. Where no topic is untouchable, no idea inadmissible, and no one too heretical to be heard.

In this age of ineloquence, this dark decade of intolerance, we’ve all forgotten how to talk and, more importantly, how to listen. I hope, on this channel, to rehabilitate and refine these two neglected acts.

As the great French essayist Montaigne once said, “To my taste, the most fruitful and natural exercise of our minds is conversation. I find the practice of it the most delightful activity in our lives”.

I agree. And so, I welcome you to join me. Let us exercise our minds together. Let us practice this delightful activity as friends. Let us engage, now and forever, in the art of conversation.