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In theory the Daily Stoic Meditations and Daily Stoic Journal are a fantastic idea. Though they are in English they are firmly aimed at a US audience. They are full of references to Lincoln, Washington and other individuals from the short history of the United States. This is jarring and an annoyance. With a wealth of history to choose from it's a shame that the author was unable to find better common reference points for English speakers.
I am a new comer to the Stoics but from study so far I have found much to admire about their philosophy. The 366 meditations offer a page a day of stoic wisdom. No complaints so far it's all been good stuff, some has made me think again and been helpful. I think I am going to like stoicism. The Stoics had the view that life can be very difficult! Stoicism has just a few central teachings. It sets out to remind us of how unpredictable the world can be. How brief our moment of life is. How to be steadfast, and strong, and in control of yourself. And finally, that the source of our dissatisfaction lies in our impulsive dependency on our reflexive senses rather than logic. Stoicism doesn’t concern itself with complicated theories about the world, but with helping us overcome destructive emotions and act on what can be acted upon. It’s built for action, not endless debate. Stoics take time each day to look inwards and reflect on our shortcomings and review how the day went and see if there is anything we could have done better. Doing this daily helps us to refine our habits towards what we really want to do with our lives, pushes us to do more and see obstacles as something to be overcome. I havent made a huge study of the stoics yet but what I have discovered has been good and is helping me to give life direction and feel a sense of purpose. I already feel more in control and satisfied because of it.
I discovered Stoicism through reading Tom Wolfe's 'A Man in Full'. That's a really good read so I won't go into detail because of spoilers. This book is more self-help than all the other self-help books put together. It's not 'preachy' just practical. The format is a ideal. Each day of the year has a quote from a famous Stoic and brief comment on the quote. It doesn't tell you 'do this and that will happen'. It asks you to ask questions of yourself. Two or three minutes reading in the morning and a whole day of thinking. You will get out of this what you put into it. If you're new to Stoicism the views may surprise you. If you're an old hand Stoic it's a great way to start the day. This book could change your life. To what degree is up to you.
Sometimes with the pace, pressures and constant distractions of daily modern life, you need to be sat down and reminded of some common sense.
In this book grandads Seneca, Epictetus and grumpy uncle Marcus will give it to you straight. In their day it really was tough.
I read this book everyday and it has been a springboard into further philosophical research, something I’d never have previously considered. I recommend this book to everyone, it benefited an angry, frustrated misery like me enormously. Imagine what it could do for you.
Stoicism is wonderful. This is a good book for people at or around 15 years of age. If you are an adult and have not read much (and are being honest with yourself) throughout your life, then ok, give it a crack. However, I found this book to be VERY basic and extremely lacking in any meaningful or semi-original analysis of stoicism. Plainly put, each page is a 1-3 sentence, stoic quote, from one of the "greats," out of context. The explanation which follows is not very thought provoking, original or helpful- in my opinion. This may be a good book, however, for your high schooler who is in competitive sports or stuck in social media-life.
I’ve had this book for a while now, this is the second copy. Last year I was given an advanced stage 4 cancer diagnosis in November, completely out of the blue after thinking I had a hernia. Not what I was expecting mid 40’s. After the initial shock I picked up the daily stoic again which happened to be acceptance (November) and death (December). Funny how the book seems to know what you need lol! I have to say the daily musings on both, particularly death completely altered the way I was coping (catastophising) and as a result I saw the diagnosis for what it was, got my head in order and accepted whatever was to come along. After almost a year of treatments, including a full gastrectomy, two lots of chemo and radiotherapy I’m still using the book daily and referring back to it whenever I feel the need. Ok this is probably an extreme case for a review but for £8, the price of a few coffees, it’s been invaluable. Whatever is round the corner for me in the future who knows but it’s pointless worrying now about it. Buy it if you want some real world perspective on life and your role in it, you won’t be disappointed.
I heard about this from a friend and bought my own copy.
It's meant to be used daily, with each meditation given its own specific date. I've actually read several, ahead of time and I've found them to be excellent nuggets of timeless wisdom.
The short additional paragraphs from the modern writers amplify and illustrate the original meditations beautifully.
I've found that the ones I've read so far have resonated very strongly with me. My only concern is that I might forget some of the earlier ones as I work my way through the book.
I think it would actually be a good thing to practise what is recommended in the meditations throughout the day - so for me I'll now be reading this first thing in the morning as soon as I wake up.
For some people it might sound like waffle, for others it's ageless and obvious information. But it never hurts to be reminded of some fundamental truths about the human condition and how to improve it. I like this book a lot.
A wonderful book of interpretations of short stoic quotes. Whilst initially it feels repetitive, over time it's that very repetitiveness that actually draws you in and allows the teachings to sink in. We read a daily stoic as a family every evening (though it is clearly writen to be read in the morning).