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Publisher's Summary

A practical, refreshingly optimistic guide that uses centuries-old wisdom to help us better cope with the stresses of modern living.

Some people bounce back in response to setbacks; others break. We often think that these responses are hardwired, but fortunately this is not the case. Stoicism offers us an alternative approach. Plumbing the wisdom of one of the most popular and successful schools of thought from ancient Rome, philosopher William B. Irvine teaches us to turn any challenge on its head. The Stoic Challenge, then, is the ultimate guide to improving your quality of life through tactics developed by ancient Stoics, from Marcus Aurelius and Seneca to Epictetus.  

This book uniquely combines ancient Stoic insights with techniques discovered by contemporary psychological research, such as anchoring and framing. The result is a surprisingly simple strategy for dealing with life’s unpleasant and unexpected challenges - from minor setbacks like being caught in a traffic jam or having a flight cancelled to major setbacks like those experienced by physicist Stephen Hawking, who slowly lost the ability to move, and writer Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered from locked-in syndrome.  

The Stoics discovered that thinking of challenges as tests of character can dramatically alter our emotional response to them. Irvine’s updated “Stoic test strategy” teaches us how to transform life’s stumbling blocks into opportunities for becoming calmer, tougher, and more resilient. Not only can we overcome everyday obstacles - we can benefit from them, too.

©2019 William B. Irvine (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Stoic Challenge

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Practical Philosophy

Very accessible and to the point practical applications of stoic philosophy. Excellent listen , that's if you're up to the challenge.

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Worth your time

A solid book on the application of Stoic philosophy. I suggest reading a Guide to the Good life first. I really enjoyed this book.

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Another great one from Irvine

If like me, you enjoyed “a Guide to the good life” but wanted more elaboration on the practical techniques and tools, this is for you. No fluff or BS, just practical techniques explained with good real life examples. And at around 4 hrs, so not the biggest commitment, with a good Narrator even! I will listen again!

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  • Lavanya Chakrapani
  • 2020-10-13

mostly condescending with some exceptions

The parts of the book about framing and death are really helpful, but you can probably just throw the rest out. It's a little galling to be told to "experience poverty" by wearing poorer quality clothes and eating simpler food in the same book where a man talks about going to Paris on the invite of a cultural minister. People don't fear poverty because the food isn't as good, they fear it because they might not be able to feed their children at all, so this advice is both condescending and useless. As is the bashing of therapy and anger felt by civil rights groups. All in all, this reads of a privileged man with no experience in poverty or discrimination declaring his opinions on these topics anyway, and then declaring his way is the only way to a fulfilling life.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Mackenzie
  • 2020-09-24

Trivial

Just another emotional recipe collection. Poor research, glib, opinionated, irrelevant. Want my money back audible.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-10-09

The first 5 chapters are Okay, the rest is great.

I love the portions on framing and building mental toughness. Chapters 5-Conclusion are great. Can't wait for his next book.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anon a Mus
  • 2020-10-17

Rehashing of points in Irvine's previous work

If you've read A Guide to the Good Life, there is nothing new here.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Raul Santos
  • 2020-08-18

short book on stoicsism

good book on stoicism. there is neither good or bad, its how you interpret the situation.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Joel Rogers
  • 2020-04-22

Life changing

Life changing. Practical, digestible & exceptionally valuable. Read this book if you want to become happier, more productive & more intentional with your life.

2 people found this helpful

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  • dp
  • 2020-12-15

Be a Stoic, Really?

Favorite. Just superb. Equally Surprising. If you ever took a University Course in Philosophy this book will make you want to sue for malpractice. Studying Whiteheaad and Russell when you could be changing your lived experience...shame on academic philosophers, give me a philosophy of life!

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  • Ale
  • 2020-05-13

Great examples of the Stoic concepts

I like the way William gave great modern day examples of how to implement the Stoic techniques in today's world. He made it easy to understand and to relate to. I finished the audio book in one sitting and now on my second round to try to absorb the information.

Thank you.

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  • ema
  • 2020-04-04

where are your personal stoic gods hiding?

i loved the irony so much, very effective in pushing accross the main message!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-03-29

Please remaster this precious book.

Maybe time was hard on the file or maybe it wasn’t recorded with the best equipment; but remastering this books performance would do the universe a great service. The quality of the audio really doesn’t take you away from how important the content is, but if you’re like me you’re going to listen to this one many times and you would like it to sound crisp. I adored this book and I appreciate having the insight that there is a term for how I try to live. This was a nice push into a lifestyle more sensible to me. Now if only I can relay some of the knowledge to the people I care about without sounding condescending or snobby. Thank you Mr. Irvine.