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Which are some books to get my feet wet into ... how do I call this

BellaPippin

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Hi peeps. Happy Friday. Still stuck on my 5/2 exchange so I'm still saying TGIF ._. My coworker next to me is eating and he's making chewing noises, I wanna throw the keyboard at him.

I just read "Keep Going" by Austin Kleon in a couple commutes. Short little book, those nice little reads with some big letter quotes that feel like some warm sunshine and a hug and helps you take it slowly and enjoy today; it's targeted towards creatives and I've been reading books on art lately as I try to make it a stronger habit to make myself sit and create.

But it wasn't just about art, and there were a few golden nuggets as he sourced a lot of the teachings from a lot of people from the past, like Henry David Thoreau, Seneca, Ralph Waldo Emerson, I mean a lot of people really.

I know this is a bit farfetched but knowing a lot of you guys have read on stoicism, some philosophy and stuff like that I thought you could recommend some titles that keep me on that path, based on a few of the things I've highlighted, I don't wanna call it stoicism because it's not just that. Idk let's try anyway:

"A dip into Henry David Thoreau's Journals paints a portrait of a plant-loving man who is overeducated, underemployed, upset about politics, and living with his parents-- he sounds exactly like one of my fellow millenials!"
Well I got Henry's Journals on my list. As well I got a book that supposedly talks about 100+ creative daily routines ("Daily Rituals: How Artists Work"). Ah, and the letters of Van Gogh to Theo seem super promising too from several extracts I've found in several places.

"Solvitur ambulando", said Diogenes the Cynic, two millenia ago. "It is solved by walking"
"Every day is a potential seed that we can grow into something beautiful. There's no time for despair. 'The thing to rejoice in is the fact that one had the good fortune to be born,' said the poet Mark Strand. 'The odds against being born are astronomical.' None of us know how many days we'll have, so it'd be a shame to waste the ones we get.
I thought I had highlighted more passages--I guess I forgot to.

Does this give you an idea? Reflecting on men, their virtues and values, etc. I know a lot of the great Greek philosophers talked about those subjects but I wouldn't know which one to grab. Anyone a bit more knowledgeable regarding this?

By the way 1) I read Unscripted last year. :D
By the way 2) This is me reading on my free time as leisure not reading to procrastinate on action etc.
 

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YanC

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Not very sure what you're looking for, but I suggest you read Meditations from Marcus Aurelius.
He was a Roman emperor and one of the most prominent stoic thinkers. The Romans gave a practical touch to the Greek philosophy that makes it more usable to me. This man was definitely very high on values and virtues.

Personally, that book helped me a lot when I was younger and emotionally less strong and stable, to navigate through the hardships of life and handle them.
 

BellaPippin

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The Romans gave a practical touch to the Greek philosophy that makes it more usable to me.
Like my title says I'm not very sure either hahaha. I've heard of Meditations, I had forgotten about it, will put it on the list. It does sound like up the alley I'm looking for. Thanks!
 

MakeItHappen

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I've heard of Meditations, I had forgotten about it, will put it on the list. It does sound like up the alley I'm looking for. Thanks!
Do read it! One of my favorite books.

I can also recommend:
- The Obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday ... btw I haven't checked out his latest books but would expect them to be very valueable as well
- A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

I can also recommend books on CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).
A classic on CBT would be:
- A Guide to Rational Living

These are the books that I have read and found to be useful.
 

Jaden Jones

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You might like "the mood cure", not really stoicism, but was a good read on feeling better about things. Julia Ross is the author.
 

BellaPippin

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Do read it! One of my favorite books.

I can also recommend:
- The Obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday ... btw I haven't checked out his latest books but would expect them to be very valueable as well
- A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

I can also recommend books on CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).
A classic on CBT would be:
- A Guide to Rational Living

These are the books that I have read and found to be useful.
Yeah I've read some about CBT and technically I think that's pretty much what I do in therapy. Ha
 

S.Y.

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Seconding @MakeItHappen and @YanC on Meditations.

But I will actually suggest that you start with Seneca. "Letters From a Stoic" and "On the Shortness of Life".

Tao Te Ching
by Stephen Mitchell is also an interesting book. I really enjoy the way it is written. Small chapters, small sentences, a ton of wisdom. I catch myself reading bits when I need to quickly recenter.

Fill our bowl to the brim
and it will spill
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner
Do your work, then step back
The only path to serenity.
If you are looking to go deep, Alan Watts is awesome. They are many videos of him on youtube.

One odd recommendation: Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
 

InspireHD

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A couple of my favorite books:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho,
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma.

I have the Monk on audiobook and it is narrated very well. The narrator's accent just works right for the book.
 

SamRussell

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The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is a great novel for anyone who is creative / artistic.

It's about an architect who is completely uncompromising on the vision he has for his work and the challenges he faces on the way.

It's one of the few books I've seen that mixes successfully mixes art and philosophy - nearly every other book I've read descends into self help mystical nonsense after a few pages. Plus the story is great.
 

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BellaPippin

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Didn't get alerts for these, thank you all for the recommendations!!!! Got plenty of wholesome material now.
 

BellaPippin

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The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is a great novel for anyone who is creative / artistic.

It's about an architect who is completely uncompromising on the vision he has for his work and the challenges he faces on the way.

It's one of the few books I've seen that mixes successfully mixes art and philosophy - nearly every other book I've read descends into self help mystical nonsense after a few pages. Plus the story is great.
This sounds great, I am artistic! I'm half-way through Atlas Shrugged right now.

Seconding @MakeItHappen and @YanC on Meditations.

But I will actually suggest that you start with Seneca. "Letters From a Stoic" and "On the Shortness of Life".

Tao Te Ching
by Stephen Mitchell is also an interesting book. I really enjoy the way it is written. Small chapters, small sentences, a ton of wisdom. I catch myself reading bits when I need to quickly recenter.



If you are looking to go deep, Alan Watts is awesome. They are many videos of him on youtube.

One odd recommendation: Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Loved that little passage I'm adding these three to the list. Thanks so much!
 

JAJT

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A little piece of advice with Meditations: there are multiple translations.

With all translated work, there are folks who adamantly fight over which version they consider better, more pure, etc...

I know there are multiple but really the argument with this book boils down to this: do you want very literal, very flowery, overly verbose, old-sounding English, or do you want a version that's easy to read, easy to understand, easy to pick up and put down on a whim and generally just a more "modern" version?

Personally, I thought I wanted the verbose version. I like stuff like that and always tend to prefer the more literal and complicated versions over the more "dumbed down" versions of just about anything. I was wrong.

The version I read (forget which translation) was not impossible to read but it required pretty conscious effort. It felt like work and was a strain. I barely remembered what I had read because so much effort was used in understanding what was being said that I just didn't internalize the messages very well. I think I put the book down a quarter of the way into it and decided I'd pick it up again when I was in a more challenging mood.

Then I read a fantastic statement that someone made that made me consider the "dumbed down" version (Gregory Hays translation, FYI). They basically said that Marcus Aurelius was not a "fancy" writer. He wrote in Greek, which was a "people's language" instead of Latin which was considered the more "educated" language of the time. When he wrote or spoke, he did so for easy understanding of his audience, not to satisfy his ego. If he were alive today, he would be writing in the simplest way possible to help and connect with the most people. He should have been a copywriter...

Anyway, armed with "justification" to give the modern version a try, I picked it up and absolutely loved it. Every message was clear, concise and easy to internalize. You can pick it up, put it down, come back to it and it's just damn good messages from cover to cover.

Here's some examples between other versions and the Hays version, so you can see which you prefer:

Ex 1:

Hicks -
Stop trying to make something of it, and you will rid yourself of the notion, "I've been wronged." Overcome your hurt feelings or injured pride in this way, and you will get rid of the wrong itself.

Hayes - Choose not to be harmed—and you won't feel harmed. Don't feel harmed—and you haven't been.

Ex 2:

Staniforth:
When force of circumstance upsets your equanimity, lose no time in recovering your self-control, and do not remain out-of-tune longer than you can help. Habitual recurrence to the harmony will increase your mastery of it.

Hays: When jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don't lose the rhythm more than you can help. You'll have a better grasp of the harmony if you keep going back to it.

Ex 3:

Haines:
From my tutor, not to side with the Green Jacket or the Blue at the races, or to back the Light-Shield Champion or the Heavy-Shield Champion in the lists; not to shirk toil, and to have few wants, and to do my own work, and mind my own concern; to turn a deaf ear to slander.

Hard: From my tutor, not to have sided with the Greens or the Blues at the chariot-races, or the gladiators with the long shields or the short ones; to endure hardship, and have few needs; to do things for myself and not meddle in the affairs of others; and to turn a deaf ear to slander.

Hays: MY FIRST TEACHER: Not to support this side or that in chariot-racing, this fighter or that in the games. To put up with discomfort and not make demands. To do my own work, mind my own business, and have no time for slanderers.
 

JAJT

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Also - check out "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values"

It's very philosophical, highly engaging, thought provoking and a great overall read. Regularly pops up on the "best of" lists all the time.

If you're worried about the title, this is what the author has to say about it in the intro:

"it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

It's hard to even really say what the book's about in any succinct way but let's just say it's a first-person story told from the father, about a motorcycle road trip he took with his son and some friends. On the trip he dives into a number of philosophical ideas such as the theory of knowledge/justification, the history of philosophy, the philosophy of science, and the concepts of "good" and "quality". Took keep things interesting - he's also constantly "haunted" by the memories of his former self who became so engrossed by these concepts that he literally went insane, was committed, treated, and developed his new, current personality. So it's like he's telling a story throughout the entire book about another person who just happens to also be himself.

Anyway, it's one of those few rare books I have a hard time not coming back to again and again.
 

BellaPippin

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Also - check out "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values"

It's very philosophical, highly engaging, thought provoking and a great overall read. Regularly pops up on the "best of" lists all the time.

If you're worried about the title, this is what the author has to say about it in the intro:

"it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

It's hard to even really say what the book's about in any succinct way but let's just say it's a first-person story told from the father, about a motorcycle road trip he took with his son and some friends. On the trip he dives into a number of philosophical ideas such as the theory of knowledge/justification, the history of philosophy, the philosophy of science, and the concepts of "good" and "quality". Took keep things interesting - he's also constantly "haunted" by the memories of his former self who became so engrossed by these concepts that he literally went insane, was committed, treated, and developed his new, current personality. So it's like he's telling a story throughout the entire book about another person who just happens to also be himself.

Anyway, it's one of those few rare books I have a hard time not coming back to again and again.
Thanks a lot for both piece of advices, will add these two to the list, I'm sold. :)
 

MJ DeMarco

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getUnscripted.com
The Untethered Soul, Singer
The Power of Now, Tolle

Can be a frightening look into how our mind steals our happiness and separates ourselves from our inner peace.

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values"
Woo looks very interesting!
 

John F.

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If you are looking to go deep, Alan Watts is awesome. They are many videos of him on youtube.
Alan Watts is quite interesting. He gives an interesting perspective on life in a somewhat more modern-ish way (think 20th century). I have watched/listened to several of the videos on YouTube of him.

He might be worth a try. He covers a ton of different topics in his speeches.
 

Matt Hunt

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Not sure if it was suggested already, but...
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
 

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