I’d never studied Stoicism before, but this daily ritual has improved my life after just one month.
Throughout 2018 I’m reading Ryan Holiday’s book, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.
The idea is to read just one page each day. On that page is a short quote from one of the three major figures of late Stoicism (and a few from their predecessors) followed by one to three paragraphs of how to apply the philosophical principle to your daily life in 2018. There is one chapter per calendar month and each month has a different focus – for example, January’s focus is on mental clarity and awareness.
What is Stoicism?
Yea, I asked that too when I first learn about this book from Brad Feld’s blog (feld.com).
Here’s how the book introduces things:
Stoicism is “an ancient philosophy that was once one of the most popular civic disciplines in the West…. The philosophy asserts that virtue is happiness, and that it is our perceptions of things—rather than the things themselves—that cause most of our trouble.”
Put another way, Stoicism is “the pursuit of the Good Life.”
Applying an ancient philosophy to the 21st century.
Now this is where things get really interesting.
Although these writings and teachings are over 2,000 years old, they are more applicable today than you would imagine. For example, during the last month the daily meditations have honed in on mental clarity—understanding what you can and cannot control, focusing your efforts on the former, and accepting the latter as it is. Moreover, it teaches you how to be ruthless to the things that don’t matter, to acknowledge and control your perceptions, and to avoid unproductive habits.
In a world with more distractions than ever, pressure to work harder every day, and plenty of things to worry about, this book is a refreshing reminder to pause and reflect.
Or as Ferris Bueller would put it, “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Anyway, I’m going to continue reading one page each day and will report back here on my biggest takeaways. And if you want to order a copy and catch up, it’s not too late.
*This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice.