Author Topic: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy  (Read 9600 times)

Kriegsspiel

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The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« on: August 28, 2012, 01:55:28 PM »
Just finished it, after I started working through the books that MMM recommends.  Easily one of the best books I've ever read.  The whole thing is just superb.  If you are on this site, you'll benefit from reading it, IMHO.  Thank you MMM for recommendation.

James

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 08:09:06 PM »
I read that last winter and learned a lot from it!  I'm a bit of a natural stoic so I greatly enjoyed understanding more about the way I think, and learning how to make that work for me.  Absolutely a book very high on my recommended reading list.
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Sere

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 06:11:20 AM »
I'm reading this right now (from my local library)! Have only read the first couple of chapters, but it's excellent so far (what else did I expect from a MMM recommendation?

chweezzy

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2015, 09:26:21 PM »
After Reading these reviews, its definitely going to be the next book i check out.

mikefixac

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2015, 11:41:00 PM »
I enjoyed the book along with MMMs excellent post about Stoicism.

It's really something I need to be reminded of.

Reader

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 09:14:54 PM »
Finished the book over a vacation in December.

The first part gave the historical context of Stoic philosophy while the second part focused on advice on applying Stoic philosophy in modern life. the gist of the "how to" i gathered is cultivating a mindset of gratitude when things go well and a keen awareness that good things may not last and should not be taken for granted. this applies to life circumstances and relations with other people. a lot of part two went into discussing how to deal with negative emotions, mostly by rationalising and acknowledging the circumstances as they are. i use acknowledge rather than accept because the overall tone was that of "do not rail against what is or cannot be changed, but acknowledge it and work on the areas that you have control over and move on". there is a chapter each on insults, grief, anger, exile, being banished to an old folk's home in old age and dying.

mikefixac

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2016, 09:58:17 AM »
I bought the book and downloaded it to all my kindles and kindle apps.

There really is so much good stuff, I'll often go back and just read my highlights.

A few things I enjoyed about the book:

The need/value of having an overall philosophy on how to live one's life.
How evolution made social status, having children, anger at insults part of who we are. And if we look at it from an evolutionary point of view, we'd be better off if we realize we don't need to be affected by those things.

MMM=Stoicism and Stoicism=MMM. I'd say most on this board, even if they haven't read the book, are practicing Stoics.

trailrated

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2016, 10:19:32 AM »
I thought the book was excellent, my only problem being it was a little overly academic in the writing style. The content was top notch, the delivery not so much at times. Another one you might want to check out that has a much more engaging writing style is The Obstacle is the Way.
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Kriegsspiel

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2016, 11:12:16 AM »
I just read that one too. Different strokes, ya know?

Astreja

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2016, 11:54:20 PM »
The book came to my attention through the program "Ideas" on CBC Radio a few years ago.  A worthwhile read, although I initially got bogged down a bit in the historical overview near the beginning.  It gave me a lot of insight as to what stoicism actually entails and how to apply it, and not surprisingly it's a good fit with the simplifying and uncluttering that I've been trying to do for the past 5 years or so.

big_slacker

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2016, 12:58:32 PM »
The book came to my attention through the program "Ideas" on CBC Radio a few years ago.  A worthwhile read, although I initially got bogged down a bit in the historical overview near the beginning.  It gave me a lot of insight as to what stoicism actually entails and how to apply it, and not surprisingly it's a good fit with the simplifying and uncluttering that I've been trying to do for the past 5 years or so.

Agree about the history of Stoicism bogging things down early. The author's academic background shows there, haha!

But the book was eye opening in that most people think of stoicism as being miserable and just bearing it with a stone face. As the book makes clear it is really about being positive and happy with what you have and living a life of virtue. There is a great deal of overlap with eastern mindfulness similar to what you see with meditation, buddhism ,which is brought up as well. Like the rest here I found it a really good book and immediately applicable to life.

stoaX

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2016, 04:45:12 PM »
I recommend this book as well...but given my profile name that shouldn't be a surprise.

Stachey

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2016, 07:11:37 PM »
I'm reading this book and enjoying it immensely.

It's a fascinating way to look at the world...eg negative visualization so that you can better appreciate everyone and all you have in your life every single day.
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C40

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2016, 10:34:32 AM »
This book was my first entry in Stoicism.

If you read it and you like it, don't hesitate digging into the real stoic texts. I recommend them in this order:
 - Enchiridion (it's the shortest, and most elegant/direct)
 - Meditations
 - Seneca's letters
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OurTown

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2017, 09:19:36 AM »
I loved this little book.  I would also highly recommend "The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy" by Donald Robertson.  It's all about the links & parallels between ancient Stoicism and modern CBT. Really outstanding and incredibly valuable. 

HernandezPrime

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2017, 10:36:52 PM »
I loved this book, I'm glad to see it's getting out there to so many people! Happy reading :D

MgoSam

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2017, 01:32:36 PM »
I'm re-reading it, figure it's a good way to start off a new year.

G42

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2017, 09:52:45 PM »
The book came to my attention through the program "Ideas" on CBC Radio a few years ago.  A worthwhile read, although I initially got bogged down a bit in the historical overview near the beginning.  It gave me a lot of insight as to what stoicism actually entails and how to apply it, and not surprisingly it's a good fit with the simplifying and uncluttering that I've been trying to do for the past 5 years or so.

Agree about the history of Stoicism bogging things down early. The author's academic background shows there, haha!

But the book was eye opening in that most people think of stoicism as being miserable and just bearing it with a stone face. As the book makes clear it is really about being positive and happy with what you have and living a life of virtue. There is a great deal of overlap with eastern mindfulness similar to what you see with meditation, buddhism ,which is brought up as well. Like the rest here I found it a really good book and immediately applicable to life.

I really like reading history, so I enjoyed the intro plus the rest of the chapters   :)

MustachioedPistachio

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2017, 02:26:27 AM »
Incredible read (listen, in my case).

Towards the end of the book, I particularly enjoy how the author advocates for different "brands" of philosophy of life. Stoicism is well-suited for analytical individuals, but there are other philosophies which seek tranquility (i.e., maximum joy and sense of living) like Zen Buddhism that may be a better fit.

This book helped tie it all together for me. The "why" and "to what end" type questions.

Financial independence is often an accidental byproduct of the Stoic lifestyle - so interesting.

MMM=Stoicism and Stoicism=MMM.

+1

Kriegsspiel

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2017, 07:30:46 PM »
One of the best books I've ever read! I read it a few months ago and plan to re-read it again soon. There were so many times I'd stop and tell my wife a quote. It's amazing how many pieces of Mustachianism all fits together...

neonlight

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2017, 03:43:41 AM »
On my to read list, hopefully I can go to the bookstore and hold of it this weekend :)

Raenia

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2017, 11:41:57 AM »
I just finished this one last night.  I seem to be in the minority, but I actually enjoyed the sections on the history of stoicism and philosophical schools, etc.  While it certainly wasn't as useful as the later chapters, I liked having the proper context for the quotes from ancient sources, and why the philosophy declined.

As far as the advice, I seem to be moderately Stoic in nature already.  I'll be trying out some of the techniques in the next few weeks, we'll see how it goes.

onewayfamily

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Re: The Good Life: Art of Stoic Joy
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2017, 08:21:36 AM »
I just finished this one last night.  I seem to be in the minority, but I actually enjoyed the sections on the history of stoicism and philosophical schools, etc.  While it certainly wasn't as useful as the later chapters, I liked having the proper context for the quotes from ancient sources, and why the philosophy declined.

I agree with this as well - I would usually skip a lot of the historical introduction in a book like this, but given an ongoing interest in Stoicism, I liked the referential introduction to base my understanding. This was one of the first books I read on Stoicism, and I've since moved through the rest of the must-reads as well as the original texts.
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