“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
Through self-development books, we can learn a lot about stoicism and its benefits on one’s life. As a cliché, stoicism can be many things, sometimes associated with having no feelings at all.
“The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain.” –
Thankfully, this is rather untrue and it can help deal with a lot of things. Stoicism is not about being like a cow standing in the rain, accepting misery deprived of feelings. A good book that can define accurately stoicism is The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.
A brief definition of stoicism
Stoicism is about learning to let go of events that are outside of our reasoned choice. It is an ideal that says that everything that happens to us, that we do not decide on, cannot dictate our feelings, our choices and therefore our life. On the other side, it is about taking responsibility for most things that happen to us, even when they are not our fault.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll
The question to ask yourself is: what am I going to do? Complain about something I cannot change or get on with my life? If you change the way you think about bad things, most bad things disappear.
“Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.” – Marcus Aurelius
On the other side, we need to take responsibilities about most things even when they are not our fault. Did you really think you could drive to and from work every day and never come across a bad driver that almost caused an accident? Use this type of questions to make yourself responsible.
The Daily Stoic
The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman captures the essence of stoicism by explaining and analysing quotes from many famous stoics. From Marcus Aurelius to Epictetus to Seneca, it compiles their best lines from books by each of them.
It is split into 366 pages, each of them with a stoic lesson from either of these three stoics mentioned above. I recommend reading a lesson every day when waking up. It will set you up for the day ahead. Order The Daily Stoic now and start learning about stoicism today.
If this book was never written, the main recommendation would have been Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
Other recommended books
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Despite being more difficult to read with its old format, it is a classic. If you want to dig into stoicism, there is nothing better, although, as a starting point, it can be difficult to read and understand.
Discourses by Epictetus is another classic. Epictetus, the slave turned philosopher, has a lot to teach when it comes to letting go of what is outside of our reasoned choice.
More books to self-improve are available on the Recommended page of this blog.
How did you discover stoicism?