Live Like A Stoic: 52 Exercises for Cultivating a Good Life (Penguin Books)
Rome was neither built nor burned in a day. However, the embers of thought that emanated from the Roman and Greek empires lit beacons that still provide guidance on how to navigate life in twenty-first century, specifically when it comes to the Stoic philosophers who focussed their musings on exactly that.
Seneca, tutor to the Emperor Nero; Epictetus, a former slave; and Marcus Aurelius, himself emperor delivered a timeless blueprint, the essence and underlying concepts of which are no less relevant than when they were first incepted: The focus on living life in unison and accordance with nature, the realization that one is in control of one’s thoughts and emotions and indifference towards what cannot be changed, resulting in the conviction that believing that we can control things that we cannot is a never ending source of unhappiness.
In layman’s terms: Stuff happens and what happens is neutral – you decide how you judge and deal with it.
Live Like A Stoic: 52 Exercises for Cultivating a Good Life is an accessible entry level guidebook, which not only illuminated stoic concepts, but provides – as the title suggests easy to follow exercises and the opportunity to track progress and build on it week to week.
A highly pragmatic guidebook that can serve as turning point to approach life from a different perspective and reap benefits in terms of begetting tangible outcomes.
Read to take things up a notch?
The School of Life: An Emotional Education (The School of Life / Penguin Books)
You might be familiar with Alain de Botton’s oeuvre the YouTube channel that eventually gave birth to the series of books aimed at the provision of a wholesome and holistic emotional education.
Do not let the name fool you: What might sound a tad esoteric to some or a touchy-feely self-help book, is in essence a plainly written, accessible elaborate treatise on emotional intelligence and one that could not be more practical and straight forward.
Covering a range of topics - e.g. self, others, relationships, work, culture – the common denominator of this compendium is that there is a firm focus on reason, clarity, and philosophy, with every point being well elaborated and easy to digest.
Beautifully and a t times provocatively written not unlike with The School of Life’s other emissions that we have covered; this could be perceived as the mothership that gives exceptional and concise insights into human nature with an extraordinary ability to examine intricate and complex concepts.
A rich, challenging, thought-provoking and wonderful set of musings and instructions for living a more emotionally mature life.
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