COVID-19: Chad Carson talks about StoicismChad “Coach” Carson is my coach when it comes to real estate investing, but we invited him to come on the show because he believes in stoicism and doesn’t believe that we should be overly optimistic when it comes to dealing with COVID -19. It is okay to be an optimist, but in these times we also have to be realistic or risk extreme disappointment and, in the worst case, we could become depressed.

Chad talks about his podcast episode entitled “The Danger of Wishful Thinking In These Trying Times: The Stockdale Paradox”. His podcast is “The Real Estate and Financial Independence Podcast”. Having lived in Equador, Chad also talks about how Equador is dealing with COVID-19 in comparison to what is happening here in the U.S. Hear the story of James Stockdale who was a prisoner of war in Viet Nam and how he successfully dealt with unimaginable hardship.  Chad relates James Stockdale’s experience to our current experiences with COVID-19.

Essence of Stoicism

Viruses are going to do what viruses want to do. I don't think that this COVID-19 is going to go away anytime soon. We don't really have control over getting sick, right? I mean, of course, we can stay home. But now that other people are going out, it's riskier. Now. When we you know, there's going to be a lot more people out and about,

Sometimes things will go back to normal like even with even during the recovery phase, there's going to be repercussions of this both health-wise and the way we live our lives and there's going to be economic repercussions.

This is this is a deep and wide impact that we haven't seen in a long time. And that that's not being Doomsday. That's not saying we'll never get out of this. But it's more that that realistic optimism to say, you know, this is a big challenge. Let's just recognize it for what it is, both health-wise and financial wise. And then by doing that, we could then have some reflection on ourselves. How are we going to respond to this? What are we going to do, what choices we can't really control, the decisions that all the leaders make? We can't control the situation that there is a virus.

We can't control anything really, but how we think about it and how we respond to it. And that's that's the essence of stoicism is that that one core kernel of this you are in control of your response?

What Can We Do In This Situation?

Everybody has their own approach. But for Chad, whenever there's a crisis, whenever things are challenging, he tries to go back to his kind of personal care, his personal fundamentals is what he calls it. What are the things that make him feel good? What are the things that make him become the best person he could be? The practical stuff like, Alright, need to go to bed on time, eat good food.

It's hard to have a bad day when you do whatever those things are for you. And yes, it might not be pretty out in the world, and things are going badly. But you do have control of that little first 10-15 minutes of your day and the last 10-15 minutes of your day or longer. Try to be even more disciplined about the things that you can control, and hopefully that'll put you in a better frame of mind to deal with whatever you have to deal with after that.


Doing something that's not reactive, and not having to deal with other people's situations, problems, challenges, this is just kind of heard somebody described as that you're warming up your patience. You're just like easing into the day a bit, whatever that means for you. And it's just going to make everything else flow a bit easier. Because we just go back to stoicism, and we all have a sort of that ideal response to our situations, and very rarely do we do that.

Read stories of people. These stories are fascinating, because you get the richness of people's lives and what they've been through. There's always threads that you could bring back to your own life. They're like teachers, every little book is a teacher and their own way, both from the things that they did well, and also the things they screwed up. We all screw up, James Stockdale wasn't probably a perfect person, he probably has tons of stories about things he wishes he would have done differently. And we can learn from that too.

Interested in Stoicism?COVID-19: Chad Carson talks about Stoicism

If somebody is interested in stoicism, there's, there's a variety of books out there that are really a neat, The Daily Stoic. It's the name of the book. And if you're just interested in a kind of getting into that, it's really easy kind of day by day approach to this how, what is it more from a modern take, so it's just a nice practical philosophy helps you deal with all sorts of stuff and you could, you could check that out just to see if it's something you're, you're interested in going deeper on.

About Our Co-Host

Chad Carson is an entrepreneur, writer, and teacher who used real estate investing to reach financial independence before the age of 37. Soon after he traveled with his wife and two kids to live in Cuenca, Ecuador for 17 months. Chad also wrote a best-selling book, Retire Early With Real Estate. When not writing about himself in 3rd person, vying for the silliest dad award, playing pickup basketball, or publishing in-depth posts and podcasts at coachcarson.com, Chad enjoys volunteering with a local non-profit he co-founded to create a network of walking and bike paths in his hometown of Clemson, SC.

He writes and podcasts at coachcarson.com. Join his free weekly newsletter at coachcarson.com/newsletter.

Mentioned in This Episode:

The Danger of Wishful Thinking In These Trying Times

What can we do to best deal with COVID-19’s impact on our lives?

Listen now by clicking on the arrow above or below!

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