This is more of mainstream modern introduction into stoicism. It’s a good start if you want to learn about the stoics as it touches on a bit of everything. Each chapter has a section to journal and practice what is taught. The book is a series of excersises to train your mind by thinking more precisely about what is worth pursuing, what you should avoid, and what is the means to have a life worth living.
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Please also check out the two books below if your interested in more stoicism! They are some of my favorite and most impactful books to date.
• “What should we do then? Make the best use of what is in our power, and treat the rest in accordance with its nature.” -Epictetus
• We can start developing equanimity with respect to the things we don’t fully control. Likewise, we can be grateful when things go our way but not become too attached to them, as they can just as easily be taken away.
• Things will happen that will make it impossible for us to do what we intend to do. We can either approach the unwanted situation with equanimity and do the best we can given the circumstances, or we can drag ourselves kicking and screaming. The end result will be the same, but we can spare ourselves a hell of a lot of suffering.
• We do not own anyone or anything in life. Everyone is on the loan from the universe, and the universe may recall the loan at any moment, and by any means. The stoic attitude, then, is to be grateful for what you have been loaned, and not resentful when you have to give it back.
• Fundamental attribution error is the tendency to think about other peoples actions reflect their character while our own actions depend on circumstance.
• We sometimes hear the inexperienced say: ‘I knew that this was in store for me.’ But the wise man knows that all things are in store for him. Whatever happens, he says: ‘I knew it.’”
• “Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.” -Susan Ertz
• By rehearsing adversities and your serene reaction to them, over time you will increase your likelihood of acting and behaving calmly.
• Be careful who you associate with. Seek people who are better than you, so you can learn from them; avoid those whose characters and habits will drag you down. It’s important to note that you should not feel superior to others because you are stoic. On the contrary, precisely because you are a stoic recognize that you are flawed and that you need to avoid temptations and seek help to improve.
• Don’t feel superior to others; you are just as fallible as they are.
• Keep in mind that you are mortal, and that human life is brief. Whatever bothers you, it will not last long.
• What causes us to lose serenity is not what other people do, but our opinion of what they do, and our opinions are within our power.
• Whenever you encounter a “harsh impression” — something that seems very desirable or very undesirable to you—pause, and say to yourself, “This is just my first impression, it may not be as it appears.”
• “In your conversation avoid frequent and disproportionate mention of your own doings or adventures; for other people do not take the same pleasure in hearing what has happened to you as you take it recounting your adventures.” -Epictetus
• “If you didn’t learn these things in order to demonstrate them in practice, what did you learn them for?” -Epictetus