A collection of 25 philosophical writings from antiquity to modernity that concern the self-directed question of what is the good life. For example, when playing a tennis match, a Stoic would set an internal goal, over which she has complete control (to play to the best of her ability in the match), rather than an external one, over which she has some but not complete control (like playing to win the match). Rather than answering the question of what do you want in life with specific things (e.g., big house, loving wife and children, high paying job, etc. Refusing to respond to the insult is probably the most effective way. A grand goal in living is the first component of a philosophy of life. A Guide To The Good Life Summary - Four Minute Books This A Guide To The Good Life summary explains the goal of Stoicism, how to learn to want what you have & why giving up control makes you happier. My notes include quotes, big ideas, and important lessons from the book. “If we were at someone’s house and his servant broke a cup, we would be unlikely to get angry; indeed, we might try to calm our host by saying ‘It’s just a cup; these things happen.’”. We become hard to please and celebrate our newly-found inability to enjoy “anything but the best”. This summary is not intended as a replacement for the original book and all quotes are credited to the above mentioned author and publisher. A Guide to The Good Life Summary. It's a book about Stoicism. Guidelines is my eBook that summarises the main lessons from 33 of the best-selling self-help books in one place. Home » Blog » Book Summaries » A Guide to the Good Life by William Irvine [BOOK SUMMARY & PDF]. However, when we get angry over little things, we transform small annoyances into tranquility-shattering agitation. Let’s explore the philosophy, techniques, and application of Stoicism in our modern lives. This information about The Good Life shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. A Guide to the Good Life provides an excellent primer on one ancient school of philosophy, and for those of us who are interested in enjoying our lives, it …, Guide to the Good Life The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (eBook) : Irvine, William B. : Summary Add a Summary There are no … J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically “Philosophies and religions are sometimes more than just … “When the Stoics counsel us to live each day as if it were our last, their goal is not to change our activities but to change our state of mind as we carry out those activities.”. In retrospective negative visualisation, Stoics imagine never having had something that they have lost, replacing feelings of regret at having lost something with feelings of thanks for once having had it. “Throughout the millennia and across cultures, those who have thought carefully about desire have drawn the conclusion that spending our days working to get whatever it is we find ourselves wanting is unlikely to bring us either happiness or tranquility.”, “The Stoics recommend that we prepare for our dealings with other people before we have to deal with them.”, “Spend time with an unclean person, and we will become unclean as well.”, “Marcus recommends that when we interact with an annoying person, we keep in mind that there are doubtless people who find us to be annoying.”, “When we find ourselves irritated by someone’s shortcomings, we should pause to reflect on our own shortcomings. The book challenges you to think about living life as an art. Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome, begun each day by telling himself: “Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil.”. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Tranquility is a state marked by the absence of negative emotions such as anger, grief, anxiety, and fear, and the presence of positive emotions—in particular, joy. Whether to concern ourselves with things external to us or things internal. We're often unhappy because we are insatiable; we work hard to get what we want, but then we lose interest in the object of our desire, becoming bored and forming new, grander desires. At bedtime, Seneca’s teacher, Sextius, would ask himself: “What ailment of yours have you cured today?” “What failing have you resisted?” “Where can you show improvement?”. To preserve tranquility, Stoics approach the past and the present from a fatalistic perspective: 3e have no control over the past, nor do we have any control over the present (if by ‘the present’ we mean ‘this very moment’). 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. The Stoics discovered that willpower is like muscle power: The more they exercised their muscles, the stronger they got, and the more they exercised their will, the stronger it got. The term “Stoic” may conjure images of austere philosophers indifferent to their circumstances and cut off from em… Tranquility is a state marked by the absence of negative emotions such as anger, grief, anxiety, and fear, and the presence of positive emotions—in particular, joy. Negative visualization is a powerful antidote to hedonic adaptation. Stoic tranquility was a psychological state marked by the absence of negative emotions, such as grief, anger, and anxiety, and the presence of positive emotions, such as joy. Visit the author’s website for more resources on Stoicism. Seneca points out that contemplating the bad things that could happen to us will lessen their impact when they happen. Wealth can bring physical luxuries and pleasures of the senses, but it can never bring us contentment or banish our grief. While enjoying the companionship of loved ones, then, we should periodically stop to reflect on the possibility that this enjoyment will come to an end. “Stoicism, understood properly, is a cure for a disease. The Stoic philosophy principles may be old, but they merit the attention of any modern individual who wishes to have a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling – who wishes, that is, to have a good life. In reality, of course, this simply impairs our ability to enjoy life. The program is aimed towards older viewers, the same demographic targeted by APIA. “Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness—all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil.”— Marcus Aurelius, “He robs present ills of their power who has perceived their coming beforehand.”—Seneca, Irvine on hedonic adaptation: “We humans are unhappy in large part because we are insatiable; after working hard to get what we want, we routinely lose interest in the object of our desire. William Irvine has curated the perfect guide to the good life that is well worth a read! Start practising Stoicism in secret, in order to avoid the outright mockery of your friends, relatives, and other people. If you like A Guide to The Good Life, you may also enjoy the following books: ...and I’ll show you how to live better and work smarter—faster than you ever thought possible. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. Meanwhile, we will also feel delight for the world around us. Practicing Stoicism takes far less effort than the effort one is likely to waste in the absence of a philosophy of life. Instead, it’s worth focusing on what we have complete control of: the goals we set for ourselves, our values, and our character. But it simultaneously teaches us to prepare ourselves for changes that will deprive us of the things that delight us. The only thing you have that nobody else has is control of your life. “ How to Live a Good Life is a fascinating and practical guide. With social status comes the external goal to please others, says Epictetus, because to win their admiration means to adopt their notion of success. The goal of Stoicism is freedom from passion (or ‘pathos’ in ancient Greek, meaning ‘anguish' or ‘suffering’) through the pursuit of reason and apathy (or ‘apatheia’ in ancient Greek, meaning ‘being objective, unemotional and having clear judgment’). By consciously thinking about the loss of what we have, we can regain our appreciation of it, and with this regained appreciation we can revitalize our capacity for joy. This book is a timeless collection of extended meditations and short aphorisms that has been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers and readers through the centuries. Guidelines lists 31 rules (or guidelines) that you should follow to improve your productivity, become a better leader, do better in business, improve your health, succeed in life and become a happier person. A Guide to The Good Life is about the practice of Stoicism from a more academic lens.The author, Irvine, is a philosophy professor who was not exposed to Stoicism until much later in his academic career. Both responses will likely deeply frustrate the insulter. DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE TO THE GOOD LIFE PDF FOR FREE! Although there is very much in common between being post-rational and being Stoic, I emphasize … Jump to navigation Jump to search. Meditations By Marcus Aurelius. Well-known Stoics include the Greek founder of the philosophy Zeno (333–261 BC), Epictetus (55-135 AD), and Romans Seneca (4 BC – 65 AD), Musonius Rufus (20-30 – 101 AD), and Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD). A Guide To The Good Life Book Summary by Unknown. “While most people seek to gain contentment by changing the world around them, Epictetus advises us to gain contentment by changing ourselves—more precisely, by changing our desires.”, “Your primary desire, says Epictetus, should be your desire not to be frustrated by forming desires you won’t be able to fulfill.”, “There are things over which we have complete control, things over which we have no control at all, and things over which we have some but not complete control.”, “One way to preserve our tranquility, the Stoics thought, is to take a fatalistic attitude toward the things that happen to us.”, “According to Epictetus, we should keep firmly in mind that we are merely actors in a play written by someone else—more precisely, the Fates.”, “We must learn to welcome whatever falls to our lot and persuade ourselves that whatever happens to us is for the best.”, “We sometimes should think about the past to learn lessons that can help us in our efforts to shape the future.”, “Instead of thinking about how our situation could be worse, we refuse to think about how it could be better.”, “Besides contemplating bad things happening, we should sometimes live as if they had happened.”, Irvine on voluntary discomfort: “By exposing ourselves to a small amount of a weakened virus now, we create in ourselves an immunity that will protect us from a debilitating illness in the future.”, “Besides periodically engaging in acts of voluntary discomfort, we should, say the Stoics, periodically forgo opportunities to experience pleasure.”. The insight and advice of the Stoic philosophy is still, remarkably applicable today. That is, instead of changing the world around us, Epictetus advises us to seek contentment by changing ourselves & our own desires. By consciously thinking about the loss of what we have, we can regain our appreciation of it, and with this regained appreciation we can revitalize our capacity for joy. A Guide to The Good Life Summary. The series, sponsored by insurance company APIA, features various lifestyle segments including food, travel, motoring, home and finance advice. Epictetus suggests that as we go about our daily business, we should simultaneously play the roles of participant and spectator. A Guide to the Good Life is an eye-opening read about how to live a happier and more meaningful life. Happiness depends on your values, not on your possessions. The goal is to help the reader cultivate a good life, a life ruled by rationality over negative emotions, and provides information on how to maintain and maximize our relationships with those around us by focusing on the proper values and enacting them in everyday life situations. All benefit and harm comes from ourselves, not from external things. Without adopting a philosophy of life, there are lurking dangers: mis-living, spending our life pursuing the wrong goals or pursuing worthwhile goals in a manner destined to make us fail. For the Stoics, becoming a clear, unbiased and self-disciplined thinker allows one to understand the natural universal reason in all things (or ‘logos’ in ancient Greek). Focus on what you can control: your goals, your values, your character. To avoid enslaving ourselves when dealing with other people, we need to be indifferent to what they think of us. “A Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art Of Stoic Joy” by William B. Irvine. The Stoics advocated a second way to respond to insults: with no response at all. The book challenges you to think about living life as an art. If you lack a grand goal in living, you lack a coherent philosophy of life. Summary - A Guide To The Good Life (Paperback) / Author: Book Summary Publishing ; 9798622028113 ; Organizational theory & behaviour, Management & management techniques, Business & management, Business & Economics, Books A Guide to the Good Life is an eye-opening read about how to live a happier and more meaningful life. Stoics value their freedom, and they are therefore reluctant to do anything that will give others power over them. “Refusing to respond to an insult is, paradoxically, one of the most effective responses possible.”, “Notice, too, that by not responding to an insulter, we are showing him and anyone who is watching that we simply don’t have time for the childish behavior of this person.”, “If in the course of trying to train a horse, we punish him, it should be because we want him to obey us in the future, not because we are angry about his failure to obey us in the past.”, “The best way to deal with insults directed at the disadvantaged, Epictetus would argue, is not to punish those who insult them but to teach members of disadvantaged groups techniques of insult self-defense.”, “The Stoics primary grief-prevention strategy was to engage in negative visualization.”, “In normal, prospective negative visualization, we imagine losing something we currently possess; in retrospective negative visualization, we imagine never having had something that we have lost.”, “Epictetus also offers advice on grief management. The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. The first edition of the novel was published in 2008, and was written by William B. Irvine. “We should live as if this very moment were our last.”. Rather than feeling satisfied, we feel a bit bored, and in response to this boredom, we go on to form new, even grander desires.”, “One key to happiness is to forestall the [hedonic] adaptation process: We need to take steps to prevent ourselves from taking for granted, once we get them, the things we worked so hard to get.”, “The easiest way for us to gain happiness is to learn how to want the things we already have.”, “The Stoics recommended that we spend time imagining that we have lost the things we value—that our wife has left us, our car was stolen, or we lost our job.”, “We should love all of our dear ones …, but always with the thought that we have no promise that we may keep them forever—nay, no promise even that we may keep them for long.”—Seneca. For Epictetus, the primary concern of his philosophy was the art of living: “Just as wood is the medium of the carpenter and bronze is the medium of the sculptor, your life is the medium on which you practice the art of living.”. Tranquility is a state marked by the absence of negative emotions such as anger, grief, anxiety, and fear, and the presence of positive emotions—in particular, joy. 502 likes. The previous … He came to great renown during the late Roman Republic and the early rule of Caesar about 60 to 40 years before Christ. A Guide to the Good Life 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. List of The Good Life episodes. Even when they contemplate the past, they seek lessons that can help them shape the future. Besides contemplating the loss of our life, we should contemplate the loss of our possessions. a guide to the good life: the ancient art of stoic joy is a handbook of stoic philosophy by professor william irvine. Suppose you find out that someone has been saying bad things about you. Publication date 2017-10-03 Topics Self-improvement, best-self, improvement, life, guide Collection opensource Language English. To be virtuous is to live as we were designed to live; it is to live, as Zeno put it, in accordance with nature. For example, they may choose to go outside in the cold for a while and then come back in, in order to really enjoy the warmth and sense of shelter. In today’s world, humans are often misled on what really is a good life. Those who have lived without a coherent philosophy in life, however, might want to delay death, so they can claim back the value they’ve wasted…. This way, they exercise gratefulness and value the things they have even more. As we go about our day, we should periodically pause to reflect on the fact that we will not live forever and therefore that this day could be our last. 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. A Guide to the Good Life by William Irvine [BOOK SUMMARY & PDF]. My notes are informal and often contain quotes from the book as well as my own thoughts. Go through voluntary discomfort to appreciate what you already have. The term "life hack" has only existed for a couple years, but there are plenty of things we can learn from the world's oldest philosophers. 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. “Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.”—Antisthenes. “Negative visualization teaches us to embrace whatever life we happen to be living and to extract every bit of delight we can from it. He points out that Stoicism is very different than the stereotypes we have developed about unfeeling robots, and in fact it contains a lot of timeless advice for psychological well being. A Guide to the Good Life: the Ancient Art of Stoic Joy is a handbook of Stoic philosophy by professor William Irvine. Epictetus advises you to respond not by behaving defensively but by questioning his competence as an insulter. In our youth, we assume we will live forever and take our days for granted, wasting many of them. They are also the source of some of the greatest delights life has to offer, such as love and friendship. The art of living is a skill to be practised (rather than mis-living and failing to acquire the happiness you want). The easiest way for us to gain happiness is to learn how to want the things we already have, summary of a guide to the good life. To endure and thrive away from home, Musonius says, we must remember that happiness depends on our values, not on where we reside. While enjoying the companionship of loved ones, we should periodically stop to reflect on the possibility that this enjoyment will come to an end. Yet, when we find ourselves irritated by someone’s words, we should pause to reflect on our own shortcomings, so we can become more empathetic to this individual’s faults and therefore become more tolerant of them. The Wall Street Journal hailed Good Life Project as one of the top self-development podcasts, and Apple recently featured it on-stage during its legendary annual event. The negative visualization technique can also be used in reverse: Besides imagining that the bad things that happened to others happen to us, we can imagine that the bad things that happen to us happened instead to others. - Marcus Aurelius, quoted in A Guide to the Good Life, page 59 In a sweeping statement, Irvine suggests that his book is about setting “a grand goal for living”. A Short Guide to a Happy Life summary. A Guide to the Good Life is an eye-opening read about how to live a happier and more meaningful life. Doing this will help us become more empathetic to this individual’s faults and therefore become more tolerant of him.”, “When dealing with an annoying person, it also helps to keep in mind that our annoyance at what he does will almost invariably be more detrimental to us than whatever it is he is doing.”, “A good Stoic, Marcus says, will not think about what other people are thinking except when he must do so in order to serve the public interest.”, Irvine on social fatalism: “In our dealings with others, we should operate on the assumption that they are fated to behave in a certain way.”, “One of their sting-elimination strategies is to pause, when insulted, to consider whether what the insulter said is true.”, “Another sting-elimination strategy, suggested by Epictetus, is to pause to consider how well-informed the insulter is.”, “One particularly powerful sting-elimination strategy is to consider the source of an insult.”, “Under such circumstances, rather than feeling hurt by his insults, I should feel relieved: If he disapproves of what I am doing, then what I am doing is doubtless the right thing to do.”, “When a dog barks, we might make a mental note that the dog in question appears to dislike us, but we would be utter fools to allow ourselves to become upset by this fact, to go through the rest of the day thinking, ‘Oh, dear! Irvine highly suggests that we all find a philosophy to follow in our daily lives. The most delightful time of life is when it is on the downward slope, but has not yet reached the abrupt decline.”. 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. The novel begins on the outskirts of the quiet village of Malgudi, where a simple villager named Velan mistakes Raju, newly out of jail and resting at the ruins near the river, as a holy man. Free download or read online A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy pdf (ePUB) book. The book challenges you to think about living life as an art. Signs of progress include less blaming others and boasting about ourselves, more ownership of their actions and, ultimately, diminished impulses and fewer negative emotions. Marcus Aurelius observes, “Nothing is worth doing pointlessly.”. For instance, since a young age, you cherished a passionate attitude towards studying and sensed the pull to receive a top-class education. This is my review of A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine. We are constantly shown through the television and magazines that being rich and famous is the way to go when it comes to a good life, when in truth many of them are miserable by problems that usually wouldn’t affect the common person. Such minor voluntary discomforts can help them grow the necessary confidence to withstand major discomforts as well, easing future anxieties. However, no matter how hard we try, we cannot prevent all of them from happening. Stoics spend less time wishing things could be different and more time enjoying things as they are, experiencing tranquility. It is the ultimate book summary; Available as a 80-page ebook and 115-minute audio book. Seneca says that the things that anger us generally don’t do us any real harm; they are instead mere annoyances. The Stoics had psychological techniques for attaining tranquility, minimizing worry and more. A Guide to the Good Life. “If we wish to retain our freedom, says Epictetus, we must be careful, while dealing with other people, to be indifferent to what they think of us.”, “Marcus agrees with Epictetus that it is foolish for us to worry about what other people think of us and particularly foolish for us to seek the approval of people whose values we reject.”, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday. He lives in Dayton, Ohio. If you lack a grand goal in living, you lack a coherent philosophy of life. How should you deal with an insult aiming to upset you? A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine explains the stoic philosophy in such a way which makes it meaningful in the 21st century and dispels with a lot of myths associated with it. To achieve freedom and happiness, you need to understand that some things in life are under your control, and others are not. The Stoics discovered that exercising self-control has certain benefits that might not be obvious. For example, it’s not an insult if someone mocks you for being bald, when in fact you are bald. This summary also includes key lessons and important passages from the book. Introduction. Because of adaptation, we take our life and what we have for granted rather than delighting in them.”. Contentedness comes from appreciating what we already have. He advises us, in particular, to take care not to “catch” the grief of others.”, “When angry, says Seneca, we should take steps to ‘turn all [anger’s] indications into their opposites.’ We should force ourselves to relax our face, soften our voice, and slow our pace of walking. Seneca advises us to generally avoid people “who find pleasure in every opportunity for complaint”, because they are a foe to tranquility. If it is, there is little reason to be upset with what is self-evident. Fight your tendency to believe the worst about others and their motivations. When insulted, pause to consider whether what the insulter said is true. Holiday shows us how some of the most successful people in history have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. If you lack a grand goal in living, you lack a coherent philosophy in life. Other people are the cause of most of the negative emotions we experience. William Irvine has curated the perfect guide to the good life that is well worth a read! "This book is written for those seeking a philosophy of life" - William B. Irvine “A Guide to the Good Life Summary” Let’s look at things hypothetically and imagine that you are a Greek kid living in the age of Alexander the Great (around 300 BC). What is a good life? This is my book summary of A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen. It teaches indifference towards external events – as in nothing external could be either good or evil – and equanimity in life's highs & lows. Book Summary of William Irvine's "A Guide To The Good Life… A GUIDE TO THE GOOD LIFE by William Irvine - Book Summary. By meditating on daily living, Stoics reflect upon their progress, how their relations with others have changed, and their reactions to certain events. Our goal is not merely to survive and reproduce, but to enjoy a tranquil existence. A few times each day or a few times each week a Stoic will pause in his enjoyment of life to think about how all this, all these things he enjoys, could be taken from him. Tranquility is a state marked by the absence of negative emotions such as anger, grief, anxiety, and fear, and the presence of positive emotions—in particular, joy. It teaches us, in other words, to enjoy what we have without clinging to it.”, “By contemplating the impermanence of everything in the world, we are forced to recognize that every time we do something could be the last time we do it, and this recognition can invest the things we do with a significance and intensity that would otherwise be absent.”, “Our most important choice in life, according to Epictetus, is whether to concern ourselves with things external to us or things internal.”, A good strategy for getting what you want is to make your goal to want. I would happily lend you my copy, but it’s too filled with underlinings and scribbles in the margins to be legible.” —A. The Stoics enjoyed whatever “good things” happened to be available, but even as they did so, they prepared themselves to give up the things in question. We often contemplate the bad things that could happen to us. Therefore, we are wasting our time if we worry about past or present events. This book is written for those seeking a philosophy of life. Although Irvine is advocating Stoicism, it isn’t the only option available for those seeking a philosophy in life. That could include our family, our loved ones, our house, our well-being, and our job. “Let us cherish and love old age; for it is full of pleasure if one knows how to use it. LEARN HOW TO SET UP A BASIC SYSTEM FOR STAYING ORGANISED! Guide to the Good Life is a weekly Australian television series that airs on Channel Seven..
a guide to the good life summary