New England Patriots Coach Bill belichick, along with Quarterback Tom Brady will face the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI this Sunday, February 5th at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Belichick is making an astounding seventh appearance in the Super Bowl as a head coach. Under Belichick, the Patriots have had arguably the longest-lasting dynasty in professional sports.

How have Belichick and the Patriots been able to have sustained success for so many years?

A complete answer may be too involved to answer in this space, but there is one aspect of Belichick's philosophy that is noteworthy: his ability to apply the tenets of Stoicism to his approach to the game, and to his demeanor.

Stoicism is a philosophy created by the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno of Citium. Stoicism can be defined a number of ways, but at its core it is the endurance of obstacles without complaint or outward disturbance, and turning obstacles into opportunities.

The Patriot Way

The concept of turning obstacles into opportunities, or turning obstacles upside down is at the core of a book about Stocism, "The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph" by Ryan Holiday, which Belichick, and other sports luminaries like Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon and Arnold Schwarzenegger are fans of.

Holiday, the one-time researcher for "The 48 Laws of Power" author Robert Greene, often writes about how the Stoics used a practice loosely translated as the "meditation of evils," that is, deliberately practicing negative visualization.

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New England Patriots

This practice served the Patriots well in Super Bowl IL when Cornerback Malcom Butler sealed a win with a goal line interception. Having imagined the worst, Belichick had his team practice that very situation in the practices before the game.

The Patriots know how to move on

One of the most impressive characteristics of Belichick and the Patriots is their ability to put adversity behind them and move on.

Belichick never lets anyone -- his team, the media, or fans -- take his focus off the present. For him, it is always "right here, right now." As the Stoic philosopher Seneca put it: “True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing."

You can watch a TV interview with Belichick here:

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