We live in a world of decision fatigue. Too many choices, never enough time. If you're looking for greater peace of mind, increased focus and a higher level of life harmony, practicing Stoicism will help.
Is it the "be all, end all cure?" No. But it will help you control your emotions, discern that which is important and assist you in developing your skills of indifference.
Updated: December 13, 2022
The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
Practicing Stoicism is akin to taking your daily prescribed medications. In fact, Stoicism might be the one medicine that helps you get rid of a few others.
But you've got to take it... every single day. Miss a dose, you might be fine. Miss several doses and things begin to go haywire. It's best to begin with small doses. Fortunately, Ryan Holiday did us all a great service with The Daily Stoic.
A cup of coffee, The Daily Stoic, pen, paper. Begin each day with all four. In a month, you'll feel better.
Or perhaps immediately.
Holiday and Hanselman will give you your daily dose of medicine.
Marcus Aurelius (assisted by Gregory Hays) provides the most concise and straightforward Stoic wisdom for a beginner. There are a myriad of other translations available.
The Hays version was published in 2003 and was the first new translation in thirty-five years. The text is accessible, immediate and spare. Not a word is wasted.
Considering all we have is the time left in our lives, one should appreciate the contribute made by Hays.
It's $7.99 for the paperback as of December 11, 2022 and an absolute bargain. Your return on effort and investment is guaranteed.
Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus's Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior by James Bond Stockdale
The late Vice-Admiral James Stockdale was a Vietnam POW.
From his biography (link above)...
Stockdale wound up in Hoa Lo Prison, the infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” where he spent the next seven years as the highest ranking naval officer and leader of American resistance against Vietnamese attempts to use prisoners for propaganda purposes. Despite being kept in solitary confinement for four years, in leg irons for two years, physically tortured more than 15 times, denied medical care and malnourished, Stockdale organized a system of communication and developed a cohesive set of rules governing prisoner behavior. Codified in the acronym BACK U.S. (Unity over Self), these rules gave prisoners a sense of hope and empowerment. Many of the prisoners credited these rules as giving them the strength to endure their lengthy ordeal. Drawing largely from principles of stoic philosophy, notably Epictetus’ The Enchiridion, Stockdale’s courage and decisive leadership was an inspiration to POWs.
Stockdale would readily admit if it were not for Epictetus that he would not have survived the torture he endured. If Stoic principles worked for Stockdale under those conditions, they'll work for you... under any conditions.
A 21-page booklet published by the Hoover Institution and based on a speech delivered at the Great Hall, King's College, London on November 15, 1993.