Lives Of The Stoics – Business Book Review

After my long hiatus from business reading I browsed through the business category in Apple Books for my next cheap read. I’m not sure what I found could be considered a business book but more of a living book. I chose Lives Of The Stoics by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman which really had nothing directly related to business. It did have everything to do with living, though.

The book followed the life of many of the greatest Stoic philosophers of the ancient world from Greece to the final Stoic, Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome. While I wouldn’t say this book is a high value business book, it was a great book that ties in history with living a good and fulfilling life.

Lives Of The Stoics by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Holiday Book Cover

It started out with Zeno the Prophet (born 334 BCE) who was the original founder of the Stoa. It then travels through all the major Stoic figures all the way to the death of Marcus Aurelius who was one of the only ancient rulers who was also a Stoic.

If you’re looking to better your mind and better understand the Stoic philosophy then this is the book for you. If you just want a business book that’s directly related to modern business then this isn’t for you. There are plenty of lessons that you can pull out of that apply to business today but it’s not spelled out obviously in the book.

Even though I’m not sure why this one is categorized in the business category it was still a great read. It’s more of a historical book but that’s neither here nor there. The book was still a great read and I got a few really great quotes out of it that are helpful in everday life.

Here are some of my favorites:

“You cannot retreat exclusively into ideas. You must contribute.”

Excerpt From: Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman. “Lives of the Stoics.”

I like this quote because sometimes you do feel like retreating into ideas only. I think it’s what you might call analysis paralysis today. Sometimes you just have to stop thinking and do.

Another favorite is this one by Marcus Arelius:

“Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.”

Excerpt From: Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman. “Lives of the Stoics.”

And then the conclusion of the book has a lot of great information about modern Stoics. There’s too much to cover about the Stoic philosophers throughout time so it’s understandable the book focuses on the ancients.

I’ll leave you with I think my favorite quote in the entire book which I must agree with and I have thought this for a while. It’s just now that I see it in writing from an ancient philosopher.

Epictetus: “It’s not things that upset us. It’s our judgement about things.”

Excerpt From: Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman. “Lives of the Stoics.”

Don’t dwell on others and what they say and do, just focus on what you say and do and how you interpret the world. A lot of people say a lot of harsh things in the name of “saying it how it is” but that’s just it, it’s not how it is but rather how they see it. So, don’t get caught up in their stupidity and narrow mindedness, instead just move past it and live your life without someone like that in your life.

Or vote people like that out like the majority collectively did.

Also, if you’re interested about Stoicism I do recommend you sign up the for the Daily Stoic email. I signed up today and I am looking forward to the contents of it. It’s one free email per day inspired by Stoic philosophy. I hope it proves worth it rather than just another sales email.

Another Business Book Up Next

I decided since I read two fun books in a row then I would also read two business books in a row. The book I decided on reading next is Financial Freedom by Grant Sabatier. My new book is much more business-like than the book in this post for better or for worse.

One isn’t better than the other but so far I’m very impressed with Grant Sabatier’s storytelling ability. I’ve only just read the foreword and most of the introduction but the story he told captured my attention. I’m hoping that the rest of the book won’t let down because it has started extremely well.

I have some posts I’m thinking about coming up that aren’t book related even though I’ve said that before. I really do this time. I’ve refocused some of my freelance projects and have some things to say about them plus I also have a blog post about my drone that I really want to write. It’s a lot of fun to fly so I’m sure it will be a lot of fun to write about also.

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