They ultimately framed their word around a series of three critical disciplines:
The Discipline of Perception (how we see and perceive the world around us)
The Discipline of Action (the deciioins and actions we take – and to what end)
The Discipline of Will (how we deal with the things we cannot change, attain clear and convincing judgment, and come to a true understanding of our place in the world)
Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic
I bought a book this week – a book with a physical cover and physical pages – a book that I can hold and turn its pages. That may sound like a usual occurrence, but these days, practically every book I purchase is in the Kindle app version for my iPad. But this week, I bought this book: The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.
It’s a surprise best seller on the business books section on Amazon. Daily meditations, with plenty of appreciation and excerpts included from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. (Read this Ryan Holiday blog post about his long-term love of Meditations: 100 THINGS I LEARNED IN 10 YEARS AND 100 READS OF MARCUS AURELIUS’S MEDITATIONS. It’s 30 pages long when printed out from my “reader” view on my iMac – and worth reading every page!).
I’ve read Meditations. But not so much from the other stoics. But I bought this book, and intend to read it slowly – a reading a day. It has 366 meditations – a leap year’s worth.
Call me starved, like so many others. We’re so inundated with emphasis on productivity in this new world of meritocracy, that we are really in need of some humanity – you know, like the wisdom/questions/ponderings we would learn in classes on the humanities.
This article from the Atlantic talks about this exhaustion, this “famine” for wisdom, and hints at such inner-life starvation: Living in an Extreme Meritocracy Is Exhausting – A society that glorifies metrics leaves little room for human imperfections. Though it does not actually talk aboiut the need for a recovery of the humanities, it does point to our need for… something.
So, I’ve bought a book. It arrived yesterday., I’ve read the introduction. And, now I start my daily readings – in between all my business-book reading.
In an earlier chapter of my life, I read through many “daily devotional” books. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers was the one I read most – quite a few times, over a few years. You might know of publications like The Upper Room. This book, The Daily Stoic, reminds me of that daily discipline – that “manna in the morning.” But only in format and discipline – not in content.
I’m looking forward to these readings. Here’s what the book says:
The Stoics were pioneers of the morning and nightly rituals: preparation in the morning, reflection in the evening. We’ve written this book to be helpful with both. One meditation per day for every day of the year. If you feel so inclined, pair it with a notebook to record and articulate your thoughts and reactions.
You might want to consider adding the book to your reading stack. Keep it on top. Read it each morning. That’s what I’m planning to do.