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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Keep It Simple

A couple of years ago, I was gifted with Ryan Holiday's bestseller, The Daily Stoic. If you know of Ryan Holiday, pat yourself on the back. He's a beast philosopher with another bestseller you may have heard of, The Obstacle is the Way, with Stephen Hanselman. Ryan is a 35-year-old guy who writes like his idols: Epictetus, Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright Seneca, and lesser-known guys, Zeno, Cleanthes, and Musonious Rufus. These were some of history's greatest minds and teachers, along with Plato and Socrates.

Hubby Bill has begun his fourth consecutive year reading a page a day of The Daily Stoic, the recommended amount. As you may have guessed, there are 365 devotionals of insights and exercises to harvest our own tranquility internally. I am in my second year (not consecutive) in reading along and "adjusting" my life when I can. It takes less than five minutes to read the daily, but I can ruminate on its teaching all day long.

The Stoics were all about wisdom and quieting our minds. Don't you think we have enough going on in our lives that quieting the brain might be helpful? According to Mr. Holiday, "by following these teachings over the course of a year (and years ahead), you'll find serenity, self-knowledge, and resilience you need to live well."

Without writing the entire page from Marcus Aurelius, the lesson is about keeping a sturdy mind on the task at hand. You can do this if you approach each task as if it is your last, giving up distraction, emotional subversion of reason, and all drama. This one has been a favorite; I try not to get distracted...ahem. I need all the help I can get to stay on task to get stuff done!

Ryan Holiday comments that each day presents the chance to overthink things. "What should I wear? Do they like me? Am I eating well enough? His suggestion is to focus on what is in front of us. We don't need to get distracted by other people's business. Finding clarity in the simplicity of doing your job today is all that anyone could ask."

If you like to know more about Ryan Holiday and What is Stoicism? here is a 2-minute, 28-second video to get acquainted with the concept: NOTE: The video is down a way after I: What is Stoicism?




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