2020: Book #34

“To live the best, you should have conversation with the dead.”

“Runners in a race ought to compete and strive to win as hard as they can,” Chrysippus would later say, “but by no means should they trip their competitors or give them a shove. So too in life; it is not wrong to seek after the things useful in life; but to do so while depriving someone else is not just.”

“You gotta’ do the right thing. Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing.”

“We must do what needs to be done. We must not waver. We cannot be afraid.”

These are just a few of the many quotes one would find in the book, “Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius” by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.

I’m a Holiday fan.
His writing is always excellent.

I also find many things that the Stoics taught to be true and wise.

But there’s always a major flaw at the end of each of these books about Stoicism: the lack of hope.

Stoicism has made a dramatic comeback thanks to authors like Holiday.

Their message of endurance, morality, integrity and justice resonates with each person.
But it doesn’t deal with evil, sin and redemption.
Again, there is no hope.

Also, many of the great Stoics committed suicide and their followers celebrate that form of death.

Holiday and Hanselman walk you through a historical overview of each ancient stoic while sprinkling in advice on how to live in today’s world.

Informative?  Yes.
Inspirational? No.

There are good lessons for leaders in the book.
Being measured. Controlling one’s emotions. Honesty, fairness and justice.

Stoicism is a beautiful apple that looks so appealing but once you bite into it, you realize the core is rotten.

I give the book 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Good read but it doesn’t feed the soul.

That’s book #34 for 2020.

18 more to go.

Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.

Interested in purchasing this book?