Put The (Stoic Pizza) Dough In The Oven

Admit it – if Marcus Aurelius had a local pizza spot, you’d go. And not just for the wisdom of the old dude in front of the ancient oven, but because there’s just something about the deftly burned crust edges you wake up thinking about at 4am on a Thursday.

Less pizza daydreaming for a minute.

In Meditations, Aurelius talks about “nature’s inadvertence.” he’s making the point that while the baker makes the dough, kneads it, and puts it in the oven, it’s the magic (re: physics) of nature that turn the raw dough into delicious bread.

Ingredients and recipes are like information and processes. You have to gather them up and put them together. This takes work.

After the work, “nature’s inadvertence” has to happen too.

We go out into the world and do our thing. We keep plugging away. We make a lot of pizza dough, but we have to put it into the oven so that our customers can enjoy it on the other end.

The glory comes from the combined product of our systems and effort and whatever else allows them to become great in the eyes of others.

Since we can’t jump straight to the glory, we better be really passionate about selecting our ingredients, making our dough, and putting it in the oven.

There’s always a little nature in there to.

Don’t confuse what steps you’re actually in control of.

Ps. h/t Ryan Holiday’s Daily Stoic email for this one.

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