My Notes on “The Daily Stoic”

By Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

A lot of stoic quotes explained and brought to our daily lives. Even though you should read this book on a daily basis, I couldn’t do it. I would either forget or read more than one quote per day.

My rating: 4/5 · I really liked it · 6 min · October 08, 2017 · Amazon


Build the daily habit of morning preparation and evening reflection. Surrender and trust, through sleep, that tomorrow you can start all over again.

Three disciplines:

  • Perception: How we see and filter the world around us.
  • Action: Decisions and what we do and to what end.
  • Will: How we deal with things we cannot change and figure out our place in the world.

Virtue—made up as it is of justice, honesty, discipline, and courage—is the only thing worth striving for. — Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

Perception

Read and meditate on the wisdom of great minds to learn how to live.

You only have one thing to manage: your choices (your will, your mind).

Differentiate what you can from what you can’t change. Time spent worrying about things you can’t change is time not spent on things you can change.

Even if you don’t control a situation, you still control what you think about that situation.

Seek tranquility by filtering the outside world with proper judgement, not by eliminating outside influences.

You don’t need to stay on top of everything happening in the world.

Practice the ability of having no opinion about something, as it has never occurred. Let it become irrelevant to you.

Be in control of your passions instead of by your passions. Anger is not impressive. Strength is the ability to maintain a hold of yourself.

Shrug off hostile attacks. Don’t get upset by things outside of your reasoned choice.

Protect your mind more than your body. The world can control your body but your mind is yours. Maintain control over it as if it were your most prized possession.

Don’t wait for the weekend to have peace and quiet. You can find retreat at any time by looking inward.

Connect the temptations with its actual effect. Understand that indulgence might be worse than resisting. Make self-control become the real pleasure.

What you desire makes you vulnerable. Evaluate your goals and ask yourself if you’re in control of them or if they’re in control of you.

Stop seeing yourself as more than you are. Stop valuing yourself less than your true worth. Cultivate the ability to accurately and honestly judge yourself.

Take an inventory of your obligations. Are you as free as you think? How many of these obligations are self-imposed?

Always ask yourself: Do I need this? What’s its worth? What’s its cost? Everything has a cost, even what we get for free. At the very least there’s a storage cost, both in our garages and in our minds.

Don’t talk about your past. Nobody cares about it. Listen and connect with people, don’t perform for them.

Before you speak, pause and think. Make sure you’re not reacting emotionally, selfishly, ignorantly, or prematurely. Speak only when you’re confident that your words are worthy of being heard.

Every day and each situation is an exercise. If you fail, tell yourself that you’re learning.

Action

Go live your life. Study is important but its through action and choices that you know what you learned.

To have a good day, do good things. How you handle today is how you’ll handle every day.

Get up at the right time, make your bed, resist shortcuts, invest in yourself, do your work.

Find pleasure in doing the right thing rather than seeking the results. You don’t have to do the right thing. You get to. You want to.

Be good, be wise. Whatever other people’s job happen to be, do yours.

Prioritize quality over quantity. Practice. Don’t justify it, it’s what you do to be great.

Train with humility. Picking up things quickly makes you skip the basics.

Learn how to say no. It may hurt some feelings but the more you say “no” to things that doesn’t matter, the more you say “yes” to the things that do.

Control your addictions. Have the freedom to abstain. Practice abstaining yourself only to know that you can.

Make a plan to direct your actions. Having a plan is no guarantee that it will work but not having one is a guarantee that it won’t.

Don’t try to have every answer, every contingency plan. Be confident that you’ll be able to adapt. Cultivate creativity, independence, self-confidence, ingenuity, and the ability to problem solve.

Sometimes it’s overwhelming to look at the big picture. Focus exclusively on the present to avoid intimidating thoughts.

Make character your loudest statement. Actions determine if you’ll get where you chose.

Don’t talk about something you know. Show it through your actions instead.

Always say less than necessary. Let the other person figure it out.

Nobody said that you were born with all the tools you need. If you need help, ask.

When you get stressed, overwhelmed, or have a tough problem, decision, or need to be creative, take a walk.

Hold yourself to a higher standard but forgive yourself when you fail. Failure is a part of live. Learning from failure is optional.

Being a leader means stepping up and helping. Thankless service comes with the job.

Remember that people are depending on you to do great work together.

Will

Experiencing and surviving misfortune helps you understand your own capacity and inner strength.

Always prepare yourself to what life might throw at you. Be ready. Don’t stop until you’ve handled it.

Frustration comes from us thinking that a certain event was unlikely to happen.

Spend one day a month experiencing the effects of poverty, hunger, complete isolation, etc. After the initial shock, it would start to feel normal and not so scary.

Get used to surviving on less so that if you’re ever forced to, it wouldn’t be so bad.

Ask for fortitude and strength instead of divine intervention.

If there’s a chance to influence or change other people’s opinion, then take it. If not, then accept it.

Put aside jealousy and possessiveness. Teach yourself to cheer for other people.

Always ask yourself: Is this the kind of person I would like to be?

Don’t confuse being better at stuff with being a better person. Always remember to have time for people.

Be a good person and pursue the occupation you love. Say no to distractions, to destructive emotions, to outside pressure.

Whenever something happens that you wish hadn’t, changing your opinion is easier than changing the past event.

Not only accept what happens, but enjoy it.

You don’t need to believe in God. You only have to stop believing that you’re at the center of the universe.

Focus on acquiring inner power, control over yourself, not outward power.

Don’t complain. Don’t explain. It never achieves anything.

Accept, don’t judge, other people’s faults.

Don’t try to grab to moments of happiness. You don’t know how long they will last.

Cultivate ignorance. Turn your mind away from the things that makes you angry.

You’re a Stoic. Whatever happens, you’re going to be fine.

Use every day to make yourself satisfied with what you’ve been given.

It’s easy to quote others. It’s harder to express your own thoughts. Put something down for the ages.

The purpose of all the reading and studying is to help us live a good life. At some point, put the books aside and take action!