The best way to start one’s day is by reading something positive and inspirational. For 2018, I used The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations of Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday. I discovered the book through one of my trusted review sources, the blog of Brad Feld. He wrote about it towards the end of 2017. After reading his review, I figured it would be a great way to start my day throughout 2018. Previously, I had been using numerous blogs for daily readings, but there’s something different about a daily reading that follows a theme and has a purpose. For me, it’s one of the many things that makes The Daily Stoic special.
The book is broken up into three parts: The Discipline of Perception, The Discipline of Action, and The Discipline of Will. The parts relate to the three areas the ancient Stoic philosophers Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius and other meditated upon and practiced. Each day contains a quote (or in some cases quotes) from an ancient philosopher, followed by Holiday’s explanation on how you can apply the concepts in your daily life. So in addition to being inspirational, it is also practical.
While the book does contain spiritual and religious references, the book is applicable regardless of your religious faith (or lack thereof). It should be thought of, according to Holiday, and with which I agree, “as a tool in the pursuit of self-mastery, perseverance, and wisdom: something one uses to live a great life, rather than some esoteric field of academic inquiry.” Basically, it is something you use as a guide in the pursuit of becoming a better version of one’s self.
The Daily Stoic easily makes my Must Read category of books. I’m certain I will find myself coming back to it often. It helps to guide my thoughts throughout the day. It’s also a great compliment to longer form readings that I do in the morning since the passages in book are short and can be consumed in a few minutes. For 2019, I’ve decided to take things up a notch with The Daily Stoic Journal, which provides prompts for journaling that follow the daily messages in the book.
While you can start the book at any time of the year, it’s best started on January 1. While we’re already a few days into the new year, you can pick up a copy and double up for a few days to catch up. I urge you to grab a copy and start reading as soon as you can.