A Handbook for New Stoics

A Helpful Guide For New Stoics

While many of us are looking for things to do during COVID-19, many are turning to reading. While you can have your fiction or non-fiction stories, many are also looking at how to take control during this crazy time. Enter the philosophy of Stoicism. This is where “A Handbook for New Stoics” comes into play.

Stoicism alone is confusing and challenging, especially for the newcomers, because of how it seems so simple yet so complex. This easy 52-week planner walks you through the ideal and how to implement it into your life over a year. Massimo Pigliucci and Gregory Lopez are Masterminds at breaking down the Stoic ideals to be able to easily learn without knowing much before.

So, let’s dive right in, the authors enter with a situation that many can relate to along with why that is not working. After a quick history lesson on the Stoics, with references to our situation, they introduce out key three categories or Disciplines.


The Discipline of Desire

Simply put the Discipline of Desire is the fight of want. What is best for us to want or avoid? What goals should we set? Along with how to channel energy towards those goals and wants (or how to avoid things). The first set of weeks follow this Discipline and teach you how to utilize it throughout the week.


The Discipline of Action

The Discipline of Action shows us how to take the ideal to the social setting. The biggest example used is how do you behave towards others around you (wife, kids, friends, etc.). It helps us utilize the Desire in Action. Obviously, this is the second set of weeks.


The Discipline of Assent

The Discipline of Assent is the last set of weeks. It is focused on judgement. Do I get angry? Do I take this nice time for myself? This is one of the harder sections as it takes the other two Discipline’s to put it all together. Like the authors say, “Stoicism is one-part theory and nine parts practice”.

Put it all together

Now that we have that fleshed out, we can put the book’s process together. Through evaluations before and after each of the three sections, you can measure growth over the section when complete. Each week starts on Sunday (although they do state you can choose whenever) and ends on Saturday. Sunday is spent reading the week and getting the activity understood. Monday to Saturday are spent using the idea presented in action. They start easy and become challenging later. Saturday is spent wrapping it all up and getting ready for the new week. At the end of the 52 weeks, you can go back and put your own plan together for the next year.

The Review

There are many self-help journals out there on the market today. However, “A Handbook for New Stoics” knocks this out of the park for those looking in this path of self-help. If you wanted, you could write in the book with spaces provided but I would suggest a separate notebook so you can reuse the lessons years over.

This is a really thought out book and 100% would recommend this to new learners or those wanting to have a helping guide to becoming the best you (granted it takes you to do it).

This is a great buy for your library and a deadly weapon to have when getting the most out of life, a Stoics life…

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Adam Lewis

Author Adam Lewis

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