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Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius.

Bottom line: judge your success in life by how well you make your decisions, not by your outcome. You have full control of your decisions, and often no control at all over their results.




If you enjoyed Marcus Aurelius, you'd probably enjoy reading Seneca.

"On The Shortness of Life"[1] is my favorite work of his, though there are many other gems among his letters.

[1] - https://tripinsurancestore.com/4/on-the-shortness-of-life.pd...


I'm a big Seneca fan. You can read all of Seneca's dialogues, including "On the Shortness of Life", for free at Standard Ebooks: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/seneca/dialogues/aubrey-st...


I found William Irving's A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy a very legible contemporary (if somewhat idiosyncratic) introduction to Stoic thought, and maybe more accessible/applicable than the classic sources.


I'd like to read it. Of course, there's the Enchiridion:

http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html

Which is quite short.



It was more accessible to me. There is a lot of misunderstanding of who a stoic is, and what stoicism is. I think this book clears it up well.


I really enjoyed this book, I'd recommend it as a first read into stoicism over meditations.

He gave some really great examples of how to apply stoicism in today's world.


Exactly! This book is my recommendation as well to everyone who seeks to learn more about stoics. It is easy to understand, you can relate to the things said, and it is practical! It makes you think and challenges your beliefs as you go on and on. It makes sense!


A similar line of thinking is Annie Duke's Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts. A good discussion on the book can be found here: https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/how-to-make-better-d...

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0735216355/ref=tmm_h...


The idea of "Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts" reminds me of this TED Talk:

"If you ever struggle to make decisions, here's a talk for you. Cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths shows how we can apply the logic of computers to untangle tricky human problems, sharing three practical strategies for making better decisions -- on everything from finding a home to choosing which restaurant to go to tonight."

https://www.ted.com/talks/tom_griffiths_3_ways_to_make_bette...


Reminds me of Little Bets by Peter Sims


reminds me of the dice man


The George Long translation is available as a proofed and libre ebook at SE if anyone wants to read it: https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/marcus-aurelius/meditation...


Meditations is what immediately came to my mind also. It's a humbling and reassuring look into the mind of a great leader and stoic; to know that there was this man, the most powerful in his time, who strived - and struggled - to be the best he could, is inspiring.


Are we really going that low to take beliefs from WER (white, educated, rich) people? I mean wasn't Seneca the rich man during that time? And also Marcus Aurelius book doesn't seem appealing to read because it was never meant to be published.


About the 'white' part: the Roman empire apparently did not categorize people based on something as superficial as their skin color: "physiognomy did not function as a criterion of social status in the Roman system of stratification". [1]

[1] https://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ElAnt/V1N4/thompson.htm...


I also liked this book. Also because it shows how similar problems people had then. For more stoicism I would recommend "Daily Stoic". It's one meditation per day.

https://www.amazon.com/Daily-Stoic-Meditations-Wisdom-Persev...


Is an outcome not the other side of the decision-making coin? I understand that the outcome should not carry all the weight, but it surely often carries a lot of the weight of a particular decision. That is, how does one get good at making decisions? By seeing positive results flow from them.


> Is an outcome not the other side of the decision-making coin?

No, and that's the key. You cannot truly control outcomes, so judging your life and self-worth on them is leaving your happiness and fulfillment to chance.

> That is, how does one get good at making decisions? By seeing positive results flow from them.

Nope. You get better at decision-making by being reflective about your past decisions. Outcomes can be a factor in that, but only insofar as they can point you to the realization that you missed information that was available to you.

There are many decisions in life where there is no "good" outcome. There are some where the "good" outcome is catastrophic for you personally, and that catastrophe is avoidable if you compromise your ethics. If you see a child drowning in a river and know that there's a good chance that you will die if you attempt to rescue them, rational self-interest alone tells you to walk on by. Stoicism puts a layer on top of that - can you live with yourself without regret if you do that? Are you willing to accept the risks to live up to your own standards?


If you are interested in stoicism, 'stoicism and the art of happiness' is a good book


I liked him from his quotes and his biography - the book didn't add much at all. If anything, I like him less after having read it.




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