A Short Summary of Stoicism


in Productivity

Over the past few years, if I could say that one book has influenced my life more than others, I would answer the book Letters from a Stoic. The philosophy of Stoicism became an important part of my life when I realized that, in order to achieve my greatest goals, I would need to face my biggest fears. Stoicism provided an outlet for that — a step-by-step system to overcome fear and doubt.

Set aside now and then a number of days during which you will be content with the plainest of food, and very little of it, with rough coarse clothing, and ask yourself: ‘Is this what one used to dread?’ – Seneca

That passage drove me to live in the wilderness for 28 days with no sleeping bag, tent, or backpack and learn to survive. It led me to drop out of Stanford and begin traveling.

So, today, I want to share with you a collection of Stoicism articles that I’ve written in the past. I hope you get something out of it.

1) Stoicism 101: A quick guide to the philosophy – This article is an overview of the Stoic philosophy.

2) On Living in Caves and Fighting Distractions — Perhaps my favorite piece of writing that I’ve ever done, this articles talks about the distractions we all face—and the incredible possibilities that lie in a world of nature, away from distraction.

3) The Art of Just Being – Jealousy, anger, and negative emotions can blind you. Sometimes, it can blind you into such a fervor that you miss the possibilities right in front of you. This article talks about how I went hungry for 3 days—-only because of negative emotion.

4) The Sweetness of Adversity – What is good without bad? What is sweetness with bitterness? Often, adversity, difficulty, and discomfort are imperative so that we can experience a better life.

These are just a few of the articles I’ve written on Stoicism. I hope you get something out of them—and feel free to comment if you’d like me to write more.


john August 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Thanks for this post! I just started reading “Antidote” and chapter one was about stoicism. Your post helps figure out which resource to use for further reading.


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