We were setting up an interview and he mentioned an event on Modern Stoicism he was producing. One of the speakers at that event was Massimo Pigliucci. Really enjoyed his great book How to Be a Stoic. Another speaker was William B. Irvine. Love him and his books. (See Notes on and .) Another prospective speaker was Ryan Holiday. Of course, love Ryan and our collection of Notes on *his* great books: , , , and .
And… Another speaker was Ward Farnsworth. The name rang a vague bell. I Amazoned him and found this book. Of course, got it. And, here we are.
As you probably know by this stage, I’m a big fan of (and aspiring practitioner of!) of . You’d think I’d get a little tired of reading books on Stoicism after creating quite a few Notes on the subject but the wisdom simply never gets old. It’s curiously inspiring and rewarding to study Seneca and Epictetus and Aurelius from slightly different perspectives—providing an opportunity to deepen my understanding of the subject while getting more clarity on how to best integrate their wisdom into my own life and into our evolving Optimize approach.
In fact, my love of ceaselessly immersing myself in Stoic (and all) wisdom makes me think of Aurelius who told us: “Your mind will be like its habitual thoughts; for the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts. Soak it then in such trains of thoughts as, for example: Where life is possible at all, a right life is possible.“
Back to Ward Farnsworth. He’s the Dean of the University of Texas School of Law. As you can imagine, he brings a logical precision to his discussion of Stoicism that is distinct and powerful. (Seriously. It’s actually ASTONISHINGLY powerful.) I really enjoyed the book and I highly recommend it for the aspiring Practicing Stoic. (Get a copy .)
Of course, it’s PACKED with Big Ideas and ancient Stoic wisdom we can apply to our modern lives. I’m excited to share some of my favorites, so let’s jump straight in.