Posts tagged Stoicism
The Consolations of Philosophy

By Alain de Botton

This book provides a great overview of the tradition of Western philosophy. Besides providing useful summaries of some of the major thinkers and what their philosophy can do for you in your life, it shows the the connecting threads between thinkers that might seem totally unrelated at first glance. Each chapter gives a brief thumbnail of the biography and thinking of a major philosopher, which is great, but what's really useful about this book is that every chapter addresses a specific concern that everyone faces - such as unpopularity, money, and frustration. Alain's style is warm and gentle, with a hint of detached humor that makes for enjoyable reading. If you've ever thought "I wish I knew more about philosophy", this is the place to start.

Get it here.

Turning Pro

By Steven Pressfield

We've talked before about War of Art and it's discussion of Resistance, the force within us that stops us from creating and achieving what we might. Well, Turning Pro is Pressfield's "how to" on overcoming that force, and it mostly comes down to doggedly showing up to do the work every day, regardless of how inspired you're feeling. While I find War of Art more inspirational overall, this work is a great companion that gives you concrete steps of what to do when you commit to following the advice in WoA.

Get it here.

Ego is the Enemy

By Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday has been behind a lot of what I've talked about here and a lot of the links I've shared, but I haven't called him out explicitly yet. He's a modern day exponent of an ancient philosophy, and though my interest in stoicism predates my exposure to Holiday, I have found his works useful and engaging. He's best known for The Obstacle is the Waywhich has been hugely influential with top performers from the business world to the NFL, but I have found this book more useful personally. It is a systematic analysis of how prone we all are to excessive self regard and the ways that destroys you - whether you are aspiring, achieving, or failing. Ego also hinders true creativity because it stops you from the real work you need to push limits and discover new frontiers.

Buy it here.

Jeff RussellStoicism, Philosophy