My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Review: The Stoic Arsenal: 40 Lessons from Stoicism for a Better Life

The Stoic Arsenal: 40 Lessons from Stoicism for a Better Life The Stoic Arsenal: 40 Lessons from Stoicism for a Better Life by Leandro Faria
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An introduction to Stoic philosophy, updated for the modern practitioner seeking “the good life.” We get 40 “lessons” in six parts … the primary idea being to not worry about that for which you have no control. What follows are various techniques to put that into action, often further subdividing the lesson into manageable steps (example: lesson 1 - “Mens Omnis Regit” is further divided into self-sufficiency and constant presence to show how we can change the way we think about everything). Woven into each block of text are quotes from various famous stoics and several persons whose personal philosophy appears to intersect with Stoicism. I found the comparisons with Buddhism particularly interesting where they look at mindfulness and the instruction to avoid emotional attachments to the physical world (Lesson 15 & 16). As might be expected for a philosophy that evolved over a couple of millennia, there are apparent contradictions that could use a fear amount of personal mediation … such at the recognition that we are all connected (Part 4) being opposed to the tenant that one should look to your self first (Lessons 37). Regardless, this is a solid first step of a potentially life changing journey that is worth a tilt.

    Part 1: Life Is Only Perception - The mind rules over everything
    1. Mens Omnia Regit
    2. Train Perception
    3. Override Initial Reactions
    4. Trochotomy of Control
    5. Mindfulness
    6. The Inner Citadel
    Part 2: Keep Perspective - Accept everything that happens
    7. Amor Fati
    8. Cosmic Perspective
    9. Break the Hedonic Treadmill
    10. Memento Mori
    11. Fair Bookkeeping
    12. Poverty is a State of Mind
    Part 3: Downside Protection - Turn obstacles into opportunities/action 
    13. Wand of Hermes
    14. Premeditatio Malorum
    15. Fate only Lends
    16. Self-Denial
    17. Decatastrophize
    18. Change the Point of View
    Part 4: Sympatheia - It takes a village; we all depend on each other
    19. Cosmopolitanism
    20. We’re More Similar Than Different
    21. Forgive Wrongs of Others
    22. Focus on Virtues, Not Flaws
    23. Improve Others
    24. Show Appreciation
    25. Character is All That Matters
    Part 5: Pragmatism - Set realistic expectations
    26. Stop Complaining
    27. Don’t Seek Recognition
    28. Don’t Seek Happiness (which is a by-production of virtue)
    29. Choose Friends Wisely
    30. Have a Sense of Humor
    31. Control Your Anger
    32. Be Humble
    Part 6: Practice - Nobody is perfect
    33. Philosophy Takes Priority
    34. Learn For Yourself
    35. Excellence is a Habit
    36. Action, Not Words
    37. Protect Your Time
    38. Watch The Wise
    39. The Power of Reminders
    40. Create a New Path

    I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

    #TheStoicArsenal #BookSirens.

    View all my reviews

    No comments:

    My Ratings Explained ...

    • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
    • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
    • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
    • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
    • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.