One of the integral features of Stoicism is the emphasis it places on being prepared for future setbacks.  We want to make sure that everyone who enrolls on this course manages to complete it, insofar as that’s realistically possible.  It’s therefore important to consider potential problems, and how to overcome them, from the very outset if you want to be sure you’ll see the training right through to the end.

Use the course Comments area below to post your reflections on possible setbacks you might encounter over the next few weeks.

[q_question text=”Consider the following questions:”]

  • What could possibly prevent you from completing the whole course?
  • What could you do to avoid that happening?
  • What strengths and resources do you have, which might help you to overcome any obstacles that you may encounter?


Try to anticipate the obvious setbacks or obstacles that may occur during a training course of this nature, and do your best right now to reduce their potential impact.

If problems arise during the course, please contact your course facilitator immediately.  We’ll get back to you as soon as possible and try to offer as much help and support as we can.  Use the course facilitator and your fellow students as resources to help you get past any practical or psychological barriers that might otherwise stand in your way during the course.

Time Management

One of the most common reasons for people dropping out of a training course is that they felt they didn’t have enough time or energy to participate.  Think carefully before proceeding about whether or not you are physically able to undertake a four-week training course right now and if you’re able to make a commitment to see it through to completion.

The good news is that, done correctly, this training potentially takes no time at all! That might seem paradoxical. However, it’s because a lot of the changes you’ll be making involve doing less of certain things and generally making better use of your time. So overall you should actually find yourself saving time in your daily routine. “Self-help” can consist in doing fewer unhelpful things in life as well as doing more of the helpful ones.  Sometimes less is more, and the Stoics definitely realised that.  We’ve deliberately designed the training so that it takes very little time indeed to do the key exercises, and so that overall they should free up more time during your day. However, there are also some optional exercises included that you may want to use if you have some additional time available.

If you catch yourself worrying about whether you have the time to participate, pause to consider how much time you’re potentially going to save by sticking with the training program and learning to reduce unnecessary or unhelpful trains of thought, and patterns of behaviour, etc.  Some of the audio recordings do take about fifteen minutes each day but you can potentially listen to these at night as you’re falling asleep, as long as you feel you’re still managing to take on-board some of the content, and so that means they take no time at all from your day.

15 replies on “Troubleshooting”

Possible setbacks to completing the course could range from going away for a family vacation and being unable to proceed due to constraints on time and resources (lack of internet connection), to having to put priority on tasks such as assignments or examinations over the SMRT course.

Potential trouble could come from time management or from the feeling that Stoicism may not be as much benefit as first thought. Not for me, though-I’m in until the finish!

Time, time, time where does it all go? How do I manage to fritter it away? I’ve tried to complete the stoic course over the last few years and never finished it satisfactorily. Keen to try again, but just get swept away with my day job.

The ‘less is more’ aspect of stoicism so far definitely resonates with me. Looking forward to it and will just incorporate this into my early morning routine from here on out during the week.

Time management has been a factor already as, due to very heavy commitments (just submitted a PhD four days ago), I am late in beginning the course. I do, however, hope to make as rapid a catch-up as possible without compromising quality.

I am getting a very late start on the course. My apologies. I have been very excited to participate since I discovered it. I will do my best

The most likely occurrence that could prevent me from completing the course is that I forget that I’m taking it for a few days (due to family or professional matters), conclude that I’m too far behind to catch up, and give it up as a lost cause.

I can decrease the likelihood of that happening by setting aside a specific time each day when I know I won’t be in the middle of something else, setting an audible, annotated reminder on my cell phone to remind me that I’m engaged in this month-long course.

For me, making the daily practice habitual will be the biggest challenge. To assist with this, I’ll use a grid in my diary to check off each day when I complete my practice, so that I can clearly see my progress. I find this works for me.

I have been a practicing Stoic for some time and study daily. I have set myself a goal to work through this course and hope to complete it. But as all goals are prefered indifferents I shall not be disapointed should my other commitments prevent me from dojng so.

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