#762 The Art of Living

The Philosopher-Optimizer’s Canvas and Paints

As I approach my 45th birthday, I’ve been having fun looking back on the last 10+ years of PhilosophersNotes as I look forward to the next 5-10 years of helping you Optimize and actualize so we can be the change and change the world together.

As part of that process, I’ve been kinda binging on PhilosophersNotes.

In fact, I’ve read 25+ PhilosophersNotes over the last 2.5 days.

It’s been a super-fun, mind-blowing, soul-expanding (!) journey through a super-wide variety of Notes—ranging from nutrition books (see: The Happiness Diet!) to positive psychology (see: The Upside of Stress!) to books on your noble purpose (see: The Great Work of Your Life!).

← Wow to all of those, btw.

(It’s funny how often I am struck anew by the power of an “old” Idea. Astonishing, actually.)


One of the other Notes I enjoyed during my little wisdom-binge was our Note on Professor William B. Irvine’s A Guide to the Good Life; sub-title: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy.

Today we’re going to talk about his take on the art of living.

He tells us: “According to Epictetus, the primary concern of philosophy should be the art of living: Just as wood is the medium of the carpenter and bronze is the medium of the sculptor, your life is the medium on which you practice the art of living.”

How awesome is that?

A carpenter works with wood. An old-school sculptor works with bronze.

A philosopher-Optimizer committed to the art of living? (That would be you and me, btw. lol)

Our LIVES are the medium on which we practice the art of living.

Moment to moment to moment we add a little brush stroke here. Take a little away there. Constantly refining how we’re showing up as we strive to make our LIVES a masterpiece.

That’s Today’s +1.

Let’s grab our Optimizing paintbrushes and go make TODAY a masterpiece, my friend!

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