You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 7.38.
The past year has been spent focusing on mindfulness and exploring it as thoroughly as I can, which should be rather clear to anyone that has read this site regularly. Before mindfulness, though, came stoicism. The two are very similar, even though their beginnings were separated by a continent. Mindfulness and Buddhism in the east, Stoicism in the west. Both have approaches that have been helpful for me over the years. In simple terms, I would explain mindfulness as being about how we receive life; stoicism as being how we act upon life.
Stoicism has been known to me for a while, given my roots in theatre and learning about ancient Greek theatre. I have multiple copies of Meditations on my shelf, plus other Stoics. It wasn’t until I started reading Tim Ferriss’ blog regularly that I noticed a specific guest author coming up frequently that made me want to explore stoicism further. His name is Ryan Holiday.
That name should sound familiar if you’ve read anything on here in the past. He has written countless articles, been on several podcasts, and written several books about stoicism that I have mentioned previously. His name is coming up again, because he has released a few things at the end of 2016 that may be of interest to anyone looking forward to setting resolutions or intentions for 2017.
The first thing to look at is a free series of emails, spanning seven days, that give you a short introduction and a list of resources to explore stoicism more fully. The name of that series is, appropriately, Daily Stoic. Each email gives you a PDF download of a small booklet to read, reference, and save on any device you like. You read more on the site about what each day entails, but it was of great interest to me after going through the whole week of readings.
The companion to that series of emails is a book, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living. A daily reading for the coming year, new translations of classic works, insights, and exercises to help guide you to putting stoicism into practice. Each daily reading is short, as the book comes in at just over 400 pages- slightly over a page per day. With a dedicated practice of daily ready for 5 minutes a day, this book should not be a problem to get through. Insightful reading, not work.
Both of these resources come on the heels of two of my favourite books the past few years, The Obstacle is the Way and, his latest, The Ego is the Enemy. I would suggest reading The Obstacle is the Way first before tackling The Ego is the Enemy, but only after completing the seven day course, you find yourself wanting to explore further.
Mindfulness is always going to be present with me as I go through 2017, Stoicism is going to add another layer to help me become a better man this year. There is no better time to start the path of exploration than right now as the email series is free. Other resources are on the website.
Sign up here if interested: Daily Stoic