“If you live long enough and pay attention to what you see, you may come to understand one of the deepest truths about life: Inner resilience is the secret to outer results in this world. Challenging times demand inner strength and a spirit that won’t be defeated. And, as a philosopher, I’ve come to understand that nearly all the times we live in are in some sense challenging. …
How can we keep our balance when life threatens to throw us completely? How can we make the most of our talents and energies in such an unpredictable world? Is any form of enduring success and personal happiness even possible when, on any given day, it can feel like we’re running through a minefield and dodging potential disaster with every step?
A group of ancient philosophers known as the Stoics had some powerful answers to these questions. Three thinkers in particular, living during the Golden Age of Rome, saw that the strength of inner resilience is the secret of personal effectiveness; that inner peace is, for most of us, the missing link to personal happiness; and that a nobility of self-possession and emotional self-control can make all the difference for living a life in full command of its own resources, and with a deep enjoyment of its intrinsic rewards. The Stoics saw what we need. And they left us some powerful advice about how to find it in our lives.”
~ Tom V. Morris from The Stoic Art of Living
This is our fourth Note on one of Tom Morris’s books.
As we discussed in our Notes on True Success, The Art of Achievement, and Superheroes and Philosophy, Tom Morris got a dual Ph.D. from Yale in Philosophy and Religious Studies. Then he taught at Notre Dame for fifteen years before lecturing widely.
This book combines two of my favorite things: Tom Morris’s practical, philosophical wisdom with Stoic philosophy. (Get a copy of the book here.)
We’ve done over 15 Notes on Stoicism—including many on the three primary Stoic philosophers Tom references above and features in this book: Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius.
For the record: My favorite book on Stoicism (and one of my favorites all-time)? The Daily Stoic by modern Stoic Ryan Holiday. If you are looking for a place to start, THAT is (unquestionably in my opinion) the place to begin. (Ryan’s DailyStoic site and newsletter are also fantastic.)
Followed by The Practicing Stoic, The Stoic Challenge, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor. (And, of course, the source material including: Meditations + On the Shortness of Life + Discourses.) (And don’t forget Musonius Rufus!!)
As always, the book is packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share a few of my favorites we can apply to our lives TODAY so let’s jump straight in!
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