A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

Category: Christian Living
Author: William B. Irvine
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by cyanocobalamin   2021-12-10

Sounds like you need some "meta" - thinking about your overview of life, making some mental maps.

I recommend

  1. Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art Of Stoic Joy by William Irvine.

  2. The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

by MysterySmell0130   2021-12-10

I would personally start with the William Irvine book:

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy https://www.amazon.com/dp/0195374614/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_YduuDbEW3T11Z

I don’t necessarily agree with him on everything in the book, but it gives a good view of stoicism. It’s easier to read since its in modern English.

I would also recommend “The Daily Stoic.”

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HNJIJB2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_IguuDbHAQG82S

It is a good book that you can get into if you only have brief periods of time to read. Ryan Holiday books are all pretty good. He mostly uses stoicism in his books, but also a little from other philosophies.

The reason I would start with these books is because the language is a little easier to understand, unless you are used to reading older English. Though “Meditations” does have pretty good translations.

by MuchWalrus   2021-12-10

This one? A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy https://www.amazon.com/dp/0195374614/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_4OjrDbTCS2ZEE

by Jackal000   2019-11-17

William Irvine's take on stoicism in modern world helped me tremendously. It's such an practical philosophy.

I really recommend this book.

This book might spark the interest back on.

by pobretano   2019-11-17

Já pensou em estudar os estoicos? Esta percepção da finitude da vida é, entre muitas outras coisas, o que separa o ser humano dos outros animais. E é com base nesta questão da finitude que se desenvolve o estoicismo.

O subreddit /r/stoicism é muito bom, pode ser um bom começo para tu estudares uma filosofia prática.

E, além de sempre ler as fontes primárias, este é um livro que recomendo profundamente:


by Jackal000   2019-11-17

Tldr: stop comparing, create your own path and be your actualized self.

you need stop comparing. True humanity is being humane. Nothing more. All those things you just listed are things people do to get some satisfaction and in the process we have made them ideals and therefore unreachable standards. Just think about how much ads we see a day, how we are trying to impress the others to look above average. The classical ideals of fame and fortune are utopian.

The thing to realize is that 90% of all humans are average in every aspect, 5 % exceeds expectations and meets the actual standards, the other 5 % is below average and don't have that great odds to get a more humane live. I am talking about genetics here, not about external factors like culture and location. This is evolution.

Where others don't have adhd, the chances are pretty high that they lack in other areas, think handicaps or other health issues or anything that one can hinder in being his true self.

I believe we need be proud to be average this makes us humble and thankfull for that wich we do have. Even the smallest things like seeing or thinking. It can be hard to strive to those standards we are always trying to reach, for if not those ideals what else has meaning in life?

A tree. A tree is a tree, and nothing more. A bird is a bird nothing more. A amoeba is a amoeba. That's how nature works. Humankind is the only species among with a few other primates that strives to change its self into something else, something more. Why? Why should we do that? No one ever got happy from it and only suffered and made others suffer. That's what's most sports and war is all about.

So I say let us practice the 'modern' stoic way. Don't say I am in it to win it. But internalize your goals. Make it. I am Going to try to do my best. And what is your best? That's being the truest form of your self. See the difference? When you are in it to win it your serenity depends on something you don't control. It's better to put it somewhere you do have control over, like your expectations. Your own personal standards.

Humanity is being human. And you are you. So stand in it. Practice your actual self. With your abilities and disabilities. As is. Accept that. Do not compare it against society. Think of it like you are the only one on earth. How would you feel about your actual self if this was the case?

This is not something I figured out my self but the ancient Greeks and Roman's already lived this way thousands of years under the movement of stoicism.

I mainly got these techniques and thoughts out of this book wich I really recommend, it's a bit though but if are interested in the history is a good read else you can skip to part 2 or 3 of the book the guide to the good life - the ancient art of stoic joy by William Irvine

An other more modern take on certain aspects of stoicism is the subtle art of not Giving a fuck - an counterintuitive approach of living a good life

Note: self help books only help if you are open to them and want to read them, not if you are urged by an external peer to read them

especially for people with adhd these really help and give some solid techniques on how to handle life. It made me so much more confident in my self. From being a shy r/niceguys pushover to an independent man who knows how to love himself and not get upset by daily life. All the while being actually happy, content and innerly calm and serene.

by boy_named_su   2019-07-21
  1. study Stoicism https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic/dp/0195374614 is a good place to start
  2. I find that taking Omega3 (1000mg EPA+DHA) and Vitamin D3 (2000 IU) "soothes the beast" and makes me less emotional and less impulsive
  3. Get your T tested, and do TRT if you're substantially below normal (just enough to get you back to normal)
by boy_named_su   2019-07-21

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy is a good place to start

by boy_named_su   2019-07-21

Roman Stoicism is the answer

Start with https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic/dp/0195374614

by chad386   2019-07-21

This is a good book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195374614/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

There are 5 principles I took from the book and repeat/meditate on them often.

You may already be familiar with them, but I'll list them.


  1. Negative visualization
  2. Trichotomy of control
  3. Be a fatalist in regard to the past and present, but not necessarily the future.
  4. Become an Insult Collector.
  5. Pretend your life is that you are the star of an Absurdist play.


Most of these may not make sense, since I purposely condensed them, not knowing which ones you may be familiar with or not.

I'd like to touch on #2 for your situation. The trichotomy of control says you should do a mental inventory of worries. Everything falls into 1 of 3 categories:

  1. things you have total control over (almost nothing in the world do you ever have total control over)
  2. things you have some or minimal control over (a few things may fall into this category)
  3. things you have zero control over (probably 90%, or almost everything)


The deal with your sister and BIL falls squarely into category 3. Other people's behavior is not something you have ANY control over. While this may seem obvious to most, meditating on this fact can have a calming effect. Knowing there's not anything for you to really do can bring you peace. It makes me think of my dog that's now passed away. He was a blue Doberman and very strong-willed. He also had a ton of anxiety when we got him from the rescue. But with some training and making him realize he WAS NOT the one in control, his behavior improved immensely. Not equating you to a dog! but most of us earth bound creatures experience stress in similar ways.


I would also direct your attention to #3 in the list (fatalism). What's done is done, my man! You've made mistakes, we all have. It is time to forgive yourself. Now this is easier said than done, but again, meditating on this fact can be immensely helpful. Once you truly forgive yourself by realizing the past is over, this situation will bother you (much) less. One problem of our evolution from the great apes was this enormous frontal lobe we developed with the ability to process (and cause) complex emotion. So instead of living in the moment like a happy dog, we are always chained to our past, particularly our past mistakes. The Buddhist concept of mindfulness is an important one, and ties in well with modern Stoicism.

The last thing I would point your attention to is this: it's not people or events that upset us. It's OUR PERCEPTION of said people or events. What it sounds to me is that these are 2 miserable people, since you mentioned the in-fighting amongst themselves, when you are not even a part of the conversation. So if you reframe your perception that these are people that are to be pitied more than anything, and that they are like wounded animals backed into a corner, their behavior starts to make more sense (vs it being senseLESS in your mind up to this point).


Hope I didn't bore you with all this, but I've been through some situations myself and have had to adopt some new techniques. Hope some of it resonates with you; let me know if you have questions.


by ThePeperine   2019-07-21

I've been reading a really good book on Stoicism and Christianity has alot of similarities to Stoicism

namely the idea that we should stop complaining about life and take a look around and appreciate the bounty that is before us.

by phatle   2019-07-12
A good book on Stoic is: https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic/dp/0195...

Very easy to read this book and growth mind. There are no abstraction here. Very pragmatics. For those who want to know/understand Stoic. I'm highly recommended.

by elchief   2019-03-31
"In a rich man's house, there is no place to spit but his face"


Stoicism is popular in a variety of communities on reddit, so I bet its popularity in SV is related

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy is an easy introduction to Stoicism


by Persaeus   2018-11-10


is an excellent introduction to stoicism. i got the audio book

by Persaeus   2018-11-10

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0195374614

by boy_named_su   2018-11-10

I recognize it from


by whitepoplar   2018-11-10
A couple things that helped me when I was severely depressed and suicidal:

1) I can kill myself, at any time, if I want to. I'm in control and nobody can take that away. Paradoxically, understanding that made me feel better, because if I know I can do it at any time, why do it now? May as well wait a little while.

2) Make a checklist of essential tasks and get into a habit of doing those things no matter what. Some examples: shower, brush teeth, floss, use mouthwash, clip nails, walk 10k steps, do dishes, make bed etc. Check them off. It doesn't matter what's on the list, but it is important to check off 100% of the items each day. Put every small task you can think of on this list and you'll feel good when you check each of them off.

3) Take a good multivitamin + vitamin D

4) Eat healthier. Fresh steamed spinach and wild salmon always made me feel a little better for whatever reason.

5) Get out of the house! Walk! This is really important.

6) Go to the gym. Aim for at least a couple minutes of sprints per day (I like the rowing machine for this). Sprints are holy time in that suicidal thoughts will completely disappear, if only for those few minutes.

7) Walk through a dangerous part of town. Nothing gets rid of depressive thoughts faster than rising blood pressure and a fast heartbeat.

8) Get rid of as much decision-making as possible in your life. Turn decisions into mechanical rules. e.g. don't think "do i want to brush my teeth today?" You need to brush your teeth in order to cross it off your list.

9) Sleep will naturally improve on its own, over time, if you exercise, move around, and eat healthier, so don't worry if you currently have trouble sleeping.

10) This book is pretty good, but only read after you've eaten healthy, gone outside, and exercised: https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic/dp/0195...

What didn't work for me was: thinking about all the people i'd hurt, calling a hotline, any decision-making that wasn't mechanical and required reasoning, insight, or motivation.

If you're suicidal right now, start by putting some shoes on, going outside, and sprinting until you can't breathe anymore. Do this 3 times.

by lutorm   2018-11-10
The thinking expressed echoes many of the themes from my reading of Stoicism, chiefly * learning to appreciate what you have rather than chase something you don't have in the vain hope that it will give you satisfaction. * coming to terms with the fact that there are things you have no control over and not worry about them.

(If you are unfamiliar with Stoicism and would like to learn more, the blog archive at https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic/dp/0195...).

by goodroot   2018-01-15
> Knight, who favors the shouty, super-caffeinated tone of a spin-class instructor, calls herself a “bestselling anti-guru.” She is particularly proud of the best-selling part, and it’s easy to see why her approach appeals. The phrase there is nothing wrong with you takes up two full pages of her first chapter.


> Then the book became a best-selling sensation. Brinkmann now lives the life of a successful European public intellectual, appearing on TV and radio and travelling the world to lecture “on the big questions of modern life.”


I agree with the sentiment of the article. I find it interesting from a meta-analytical perspective, too. As the above quotations demonstrate, even when aware of the sinister, deep nature of the hamster wheel, the author perpetuates their own forebodings. The pattern is being unable to see value or usefulness without highlighting the material end; do we want to stoke the fires to encourage more of the same under a different brand?

There's some reference to the Stoics, aye. That's a good place to start. I'd suggest this book: The Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (https://www.amazon.ca/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic/dp/01953...)

One of the secrets the Stoics have uncovered, I believe, is to practice will-power so that we can identify and resist craving. Simply saying "stop it", or "re-think the system" undermines the reality that billions upon billions of dollars and our smartest minds are, at this very second, applying our most advanced technologies to further expand this soul-less, insatiable machine which we've created.

by evo_9   2017-12-01
A good summary of my go-to Stoicism book:


The book they are summarizing: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy: