“The private diaries of one of Rome’s great emperors, the personal letters of one of Rome’s best playwrights and wisest power brokers, the lectures of a former slave and exile, turned influential teacher. Against all the odds and the passing of some two millennia, these incredible documents survive.
What do they say? Could these ancient and obscure pages really contain anything relevant to modern life? The answer, as it turns out, is yes. They contain some of the greatest wisdom in the history of the world.
Together these documents constitute the bedrock of what is known as Stoicism, an ancient philosophy that was once one of the most popular civic disciplines in the West, practiced by the rich and the impoverished, the powerful and the struggling alike in the pursuit of the Good Life. But over the centuries, knowledge of this way of thinking, once essential to so many, slowly faded from view. …
Our goal with this book is to restore Stoicism to its rightful place as a tool in the pursuit of self-mastery, perseverance, and wisdom: something one uses to live a great life, rather than some esoteric field of academic inquiry.”
~ Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman from The Daily Stoic
This book combines two of my favorite things: Stoicism + Ryan Holiday’s wisdom.
This is the third book of Ryan’s we’ve covered. Check out the Notes (+ Interviews) on The Obstacle Is the Way + The Ego Is the Enemy for more.
We also have a dozen Notes on Stoic classics including Aurelius’s Meditations, Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic + On the Shortness of Life, and Epictetus’s Enchiridion + Discourses.
Stoicism was the most influential philosophy of the Roman world and has continued to influence many of history’s greatest minds—including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Stoicism was also one of the primary inspirations for Albert Ellis as he developed the foundation of what is now cognitive behavioral therapy.
As Ryan says: It’s time to bring it back as a powerful tool “in the pursuit of self-mastery, perseverance, and wisdom.”
I rarely say this, but I think this is a must read. Why? Well, any serious student of optimizing needs to be familiar with what the Stoic sages said. And, this is literally the perfect introduction as Ryan pulls wisdom from Seneca + Epictetus + Aurelius (+ some other less known Stoics) and then helps us apply the wisdom to our modern lives. (Get book here. More at DailyStoic.com.)
To put it in perspective, I told Alexandra that this might be my favorite book I’ve ever read. That’s how much I loved it. :)
The book is packed with Big Ideas. 366 of them to be precise. I’m excited to share a few of my favorites so let’s jump straight on!
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