Letters from a Stoic

📖Short Summary

I came across the stoic philosophy through the podcasts of Tim Ferris and Books by Ryan Holiday. Letters From a Stoic is a collection of 124 letters that Seneca wrote at the end of his life. Seneca writes about living a virtuous life, building a great character, giving up vices, and meditating on death. It is an interesting read given that it is quite an old book, yet still relevant.

But the book:
Seneca : Letters from a Stoic: Epistulae Morales Ad Lucilium (The Penguin Classics L210)

🌤️Some Thoughts Worth Noting

  1. To be everywhere is to be nowhere.
  2. It is not the man who has too little who is poor, but the one who hankers after more.
  3. Trusting everyone is as much a fault as trusting no one.
  4. The state of mind that looks on all activity as tiresome is not true repose, but a spineless inertia.
  5. Refrain from following the example of those whose craving is for attention, not their own improvement.

😇Whom It Can Benefit

  1. People interested in reading and learning about Stoic philosophy.
  2. Those who want to improve themselves and their mindset.

3️⃣ Actionable Insights

  1. Memento Mori: It is a symbol acting as a reminder of the inevitability of death. Memento mori is quite evident in the Stoic philosophy. Seneca has underlined the importance of remembering the fact that one day we will die. So, you should live the best you can.
  2. Always help and try to make everyone around you a better version of themselves.
  3. Go inward and improve yourself. Build a great character.
  4. Measure your life: It just does not have room for so much.

🥰What I Loved in This Book

  1. I was baffled how Seneca had this much awareness about human nature and philosophy. Most of the advice in the book hold true still to the day.
  2. There is some insight to take away no matter what your age is.
  3. The language of the book is really simple to grasp and understand.
  4. I have myself experienced some of the things written in this book. It was an epiphany reading some of the content. The book makes you think for yourself.

🏗️How I am implementing the learnings

  1. I try not to get excited by things. Getting excited or sad over every little thing is no less than an addiction.
  2. I try sharing whatever knowledge I have with everyone else. I feel good when I am able to teach someone something that is actually helpful.
  3. I try to be a better version of myself always. Hence, I have inculcated the habit of reading and learning things by myself.

🌇Concluding Thoughts

I like some aspects of Stoic Philosophy and Seneca's letters give us a look into what it really is. The book explains things in a simple yet effective manner. I recommend this book to everyone who is searching for answers in life. You might find some advice strange or outdated but you can at least use the other advice to improve your life. It will not disappoint you.

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