One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives. In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life.
Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Listeners learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have.
Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows listeners how to become thoughtful observers of their own lives. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doing this, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.
©2009 William B. Irvine (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I found myself surprisingly liking this book a lot. It demystifies what is commonly and mistakenly identified as a dour philosophy and makes it accessible to everyday, modern life. Equal parts self- help book, stoicism 101 course, and "serenity now!" mantra, Irvine makes a compelling case for adopting the tenets of stoicism as a balm to our hectic, information overloaded, materialistic society. I found myself quite intrigued and taken with the advice in this book and have found myself practicing it daily. It moves along briskly and avoids the self-help book pitfalls of pandering to the reader or being too trite.
This is a great book, and the narrator fits perfectly. I would recommend this title to any thoughtful friend or family member. I started this book at a real low point, and found this profoundly helpful. Also, unlike most books that offer life advice, the author is clearly a smart, logical individual who thinks carefully about what he says and explains what it is like to put his advice into practice.
Great book explaining stoicism in a contemporary way.
It reads very smoothly. Well structured and the author presents the concepts in a way relevant to our days.
I particularly liked the ending when justifies stoicism from an evolutionary point of view. This is a nice contribution of the author.
I also liked the personal experience of the author while practicing stoicism.
Finally it suggests some further reading.
Very interesting book. Accessible. The author makes the points very clear in my opinion.
I like the narrator too. Not too slow (like others I have heard).
Great book. Thanks.
I love sci-fi and fantasy books
I took a lot from this book. But it all comes down to the basic stoic philosophy.
I will return to this book again.
If you're down with the ISTP then we can read Wikipedia together all night.
It is written purposefully and makes it clear how one might apply the information
I enjoyed being educated about philosophy generally and this short book gives mainly core elements of context and history.
it was fine
The death of Socrates perhaps...
Stoicism came somewhat naturally for me, but I think I may have enjoyed the book more if it had not. The hallmark of Stoic life is to be optimistic and happy with your imperfect situation, which to me is a personality trait and not something you can easily will yourself to be. Therefore, if you can easily apply this advice, you probably already do, and if you desperately need this advice, it may be very difficult to live.
The underlying informational content was very good. The author has a good grasp of Stoic philosophy and its history. The writing itself would have benefited from the attention of an editor, and perhaps the judicious use of a thesaurus. Both the language and content is repetitive, causing the book to be twice as long as necessary, and to feel even longer than that. It feels like the author took a number of years worth of articles on various aspects of Stoicism and reformatted them as a book, causing the same basic territory to be covered again and again in each chapter.
I would not recommend this book, but would certainly find another, more concise, overview of Stoic philosophy to suggest.
Interesting though somewhat tedious dissection of Stoic philosophy and how it may be applied to life in the modern world. I found the male author's use of the female personal pronoun to be distracting, always referring to how "she" might apply stoic principles in "her" life. It comes across as falsely egalitarian or pandering to the feminist. I did enjoy the additional historical discussions of the Stoic and other Hellenic philosophers.
Very interesting and very insightful. A great hybrid between philosophy and personal development. Thoroughly recommended.
"Great just a few irks"
It's one of the best as long as you take action on the advice.
I like the way he blended the anecdotes with the ways to live your life.
My gripe would be with the feminist language this guy uses, it really irked me because listening to it. 'herself' etc. It has a certain agenda pushed behind it which i don't feel it was necessary to put the emphasis on the feminine, i saw some other reviews point this out, and it bugged me.
stories about seneca and marcus aurelius.
Narrator was decent.
"Great follow up to the Antidote by Oliver Burkeman"
Yes, lots of ideas that need to be reiterated in order to fully grasp in a practical way
Narration a little spaced apart or something, kindof like it was read by a computer - you get used to it but could have been a bit more fluid.
It made me think about the way I think and how I perceive life's joys as well as challenges, definitely be implementing some stoic traits
Can't wait until they get more of Irvine's books on audible, just don't seem to like old school reading
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