What a wonderful opportunity I was given by receiving this book to review. I started reading it at a time when life was giving me more challenges than usual. I had no idea how useful this book would be, it came at the right moment!. Now I’m sharing my thoughts about it hoping that, in these times of distress, quarantine and instability, you can beneficiate from its wisdom and examples. Like Jonas Salzgeber mentions in this book “Stoicism can improve your life in good times, but it’s in bad times when its efficacy becomes most apparent”.
This book is divided into two parts: “What is stoicism” and “55 Stoic Practices”. The first part introduces you to the concept of stoicism, a bit of history, what is its purpose and key concepts of stoic practice. The second part has 55 different situations or aspects of life in which you can apply an stoic approach to lead a happier, more fulfilling life.
As someone new to the concepts of stoicism, I found myself lost during the first couple of chapters, my brain was like a kid, impatient and craving to be entertained. Then i remembered how in the introduction I was told that, training in stoicism is a bit like surfing. Yes! that was exactly it! I was eager to get into the water and dreaded the theoretical part. It made me chuckle how accurate this ‘warning’ was.
Something i have learned is that, when I get frustrated because I don’t understand everything that is going on at the beginning of a book, I should just keep reading while carrying those half digested words and, more often than not, they make more sense as I move forward. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up, but it is more satisfying to embrace that momentary frustration in order to reap bigger rewards. It can be applied to other situations as well, not just for reading.
The second part is where we get into the water and the actual practice of stoicism in everyday life. I really loved these part’s explanation and examples. Each practice starts with a quote, followed by the author’s explanation on the subject. He makes it easy to understand, it reads as if you were having a conversation with a friend. I thought about keeping quotes from the book in my journal, so that I could later recall those stoic principles, but then I realized I was quoting most of the book! There are so many good things in here without extra filling.
Overall I can tell you that Jonas Salzgeber does a magnificent job at explaining the basics of stoicism and how to apply them in life. He makes it simple and approachable. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. Seriously, I don’t think there’s anyone who wouldn’t beneficiate from it.
Hope you are keeping yourself safe in your corner of the world, take care my friend.