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The Golden Verses Of The Stoic

Seneca and Epictetus refer to the Golden Verses of Pythagoras , which happens to provide a good framework for developing a daily routine, bookended by morning and evening contemplative practices. Zeno of Citium , who founded Stoicism in 301 BC, expressed his doctrines in notoriously terse arguments and concise maxims.  However, Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school, wrote over 700 books fleshing these ideas out and adding complex arguments to support them. 

Social Reality into Fiction

We all love unique and crafted characters. I spend a great deal of time with creating 'real' and deep personalities with hopes and scars. That doesn't mean I do a full write up on every one of them, far from it. No, I get my MCs flush and perky, but the others I rely on reality to help fill in the blanks. There are tons of advice publications (books, articles even college courses) teaching the masses how to be popular with the masses. Each of them with wonderful personalities woven through the socialite advice of how not to sound like the last thousand people to come through the door. How to have flair and maybe even some savoir faire. 

Such as... instead of asking "What do you do?" or "Where are you from?" for the 76,000th time, try one of these. 

1. What's your story?

This open-ended question is bound to trigger something interesting after the other person gets over the initial shock that you asked it. By opening up a conversation in this manner, you’ve given them access to speak from their hearts and share their life’s journeys, dreams, and goals.

2. What makes you smile when you get up in the morning?

A great question that gets the interaction hopping on a positive note from the get-go. Watch the other person’s wheels turn as she reflects on something for which she’s excited or deeply grateful.

3. Which book has influenced you the most?

The brilliance behind this question is not the question itself, but the invitation for follow-up questions because of the book’s impact on that person’s life, marriage, career, or business. Asking it deepens the conversation (and the connection) as you learn more about how the topic has positively altered that person’s life in some way. If they’re not avid readers, ask about movies or famous people.

4. What absolutely excites you right now?

This question triggers passion. Who doesn’t like to speak from their most passionate space? It may end up being their thriving career, a new job, or an exciting new phase of their business. It could be personal: the arrival of a new baby, having beaten cancer or finding true love. Whatever it is, think of all the places the conversation will lead, and the possibilities of connecting the dots with the other person when it’s your turn to shine.

5. What's the most important thing I should know about you?

In line with all the others, this question will elicit emotions to deepen the conversation and find connecting points. That's what you’re after -- creating space to discover what makes the other person tick, unique, or maybe frustrated so you can offer encouragement or make a difference in his or her life.

A copywriter will describe 'You' as one of the most powerful words in our vocabulary. It is a word which we take note of and respond to year after year, as sure as sunrise.