Stoicism Books to Master Your Life

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Today you’re going to learn about three incredible stoicism books that will change your life.

Why stoicism?

Over thousands of years, great leaders have relied on this philosophy to master themselves and their empires. Today, world-renowned entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss attribute their success to stoicism.

A famous stoic named Seneca once said, “No one can lead a happy life, or even one that is bearable, without the pursuit of wisdom.”

As someone who has personally benefited from this study in more ways than I can count, I must humbly agree.

I can’t wait to share these powerful ancient texts with you. Let’s get started.

 

To Become a Great Leader:

Read “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius

 

This book contains short passages, often just a paragraph or less, so it’s very easy to flip through when you need it.

But that’s not the greatest thing about it.

Marcus Aurelius was the badass philosopher and last “Good Emperor” of Rome.

“Meditations” is a journal that Marcus used to keep himself in check throughout the final days of his 19-year reign over the empire.

That means it was never intended for publication.

Can we take a moment to appreciate that?

You could have access right now to the intimate thoughts of one of the greatest rulers of all time for the price of a movie ticket.

This is something you simply must have in your arsenal – stoic or not.

My translation is “The Emperor’s Handbook” which includes a fascinating biography about the philosopher king (plus, the title is much cooler).

 

To Stop Watching So Much Netflix:

Read “On the Shortness of Life” by Seneca

 

This “book” is one of more than 100 letters and a dozen essays that Seneca produced in his lifetime – most for his good friend Lucilius.

How sweet is that?

It’s a bit dense for beginners, but it is one of the most powerful texts I have ever read and a great reminder to start living yo’ life.

Seneca tells us…

Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it.

He goes on to explain some of those “no-good activities” we waste our time on.

If you’ve ever binge-watched Jane the Virgin instead of writing a paper, you are the lowliest of the low;

Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today.

Real talk: cherish your time on this earth.

You can read Seneca’s essay for free here. I have the Penguin Classics edition.

 

To Sound Smarter Than All Your Friends:

Read “How to Be a Stoic” by Massimo Pigliucci

 

I came across this book by accident.

I was perusing the library at Queen Mary University of London and saw it sitting on a shelf. I’d never seen a practical guide to stoicism before, so it peaked my interest.

I was completely blown away by it.

Pigliucci effectively breaks down what would otherwise be a complicated philosophy to grasp on your own. He delves into some of the history behind stoicism while articulating how it can apply to individuals of different lifestyles and beliefs.

This book tends toward the perspective of one thinker in particular (Epicurus) but you will find that most stoic ideas intertwine regardless of where they come from.

It’s worth the read for its practicality alone. Grab “How to Be a Stoic” on Amazon.

 

Do you know any other stoicism books that are worth reading?

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