My Rating of “The Little Book of Stoicism: Timeless Wisdom to Gain Resilience, Confidence, and Calmness” by Jonas Salzgeber: 8 / 10
Reading philosophical books on stoicism has been one of the best things I have done in my life. It has allowed me to live in a less complicated way. The benefits have been more fulfilment with the little (important) things versus the urgent attention grabbers. Stoicism doesn’t come easy as it requires a constant focus and understanding. The first step is to understand the philosophy and this is where this book fits quite nicely.
The Little Book of Stoicism is the first book that explains the concept of stoicism up front. After reading works from Seneca, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus one is able to put the stoic pieces together. Salzgeber take a different approach by traversing through the history of stoicism and how the this philosophy came to fruition. This is important as it is helpful to get my mind in the right place in order to consume the remaining lessons in part three.
The remainder of the book focuses on important practices of being a stoic (50+ of them in fact). Once you have the key cardinal virtues and the practices you have a solid foundation of being a stoic in all aspects of your life!
Three key takeaways from the book:
- We’re naturally evolved to approach what feels good and avoid what feels bad (think procrastination). This is our survival instinct and it is incredibly influencing. Said differently, what feels right to do is often not the right thing to do.
- The author’s important stoic principles are to focus on what you can control, to accept reality as it is and to take responsibility for your life as it is always within your power to choose to respond with virtue.
- For Stoic’s it is important that positive feelings are not the primary motivation for our actions. They are an added bonus. Virtue must be its own reward.