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The Stoic Challenge

A Philosopher's Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient
Narrated by: Brian Troxell
Length: 4 hrs and 6 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Philosophy
4.5 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

Non-member price: $20.83

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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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    3 out of 5 stars

not his best work

compared to his excellent 'A Guide to the Good Life', this book felt more faddish, mainstream and 'self-helpish'. nonetheless, a witty and wise handbook on applying stoicism to your life.

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Setback this...

Robotic narrator and chapter after chapter of doom and despair. I couldn't go past chapter 5.
Dont recommend.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-2019

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Joel Rogers
  • 22-04-2020

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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  • ema
  • 04-04-2020

where are your personal stoic gods hiding?

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • frank munoz
  • 13-05-2020

Definitely recommend

My favorite self betterment books that I've read so far. It helped me better understand The Four Agreements as well.

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  • Ale
  • 13-05-2020

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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  • DragonMama
  • 10-05-2020

listened to this 2x in one day

I had the speed set to 2x and restarted as soon as I finished it to get a 2nd chance to go through the concepts. I would love to see a reworking of this to be child-inclusive for families to take this information in together without mentions of concepts early elementary kids may not be ready for or that would disrupt listening for tangental conversations about concepts like rape & Santa. Without those topics included, I would listen to this with my 7 year old. I am making it required "reading" for my teen & tween.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-04-2020

Very inspiring!

The book covers basic stoic concepts and their applications. It uses stories and similes to illustrate ideas. It would have been nice to relate ideas to a more Writer and books, to my liking.

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  • Alexander H Horn
  • 04-11-2019

Ok book on stoicism

It’s a basic book on stoicism perhaps good if you’re brand new stoicism. There are much better books out there that talk more about the original philosophy / teaching

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-10-2019

Be aware of events in one’s life

The phase of The Stoic gods are tongue in cheek for me, but an interesting way to blame an event.
Would be a good gift.
Now it will be interesting to really see how I am accepting events in my life. So far I feel I accept life, good and bad, as what is and go through an experience knowing that I am safe in the long run. Perhaps, for me, it is because I am a follower of Jesus Christ.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Liz
  • 17-05-2020

Not quite what I was hoping for

The first few chapters are great self-help advice and I definitely enjoyed them as a brief introduction to the philosophy of stoicism. However, once you get to the millennial-bashing and talking about how therapy is a waste of money in chapter 4, I had to give up. The idea that previous generations were somehow more resilient than people nowadays is a romanticised delusion, war didn't make people 'stronger', they were traumatised and learnt how to suppress their emotions. Getting told by a privileged white man that all the setbacks people experience in their lives are just 'in their heads' is not necessarily what I want to spend my money on.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-2019

Fantastic

I tend to buy a lot of stoic books, I found this to be one of my favourites for developing the stoic mindset , I liked the more practical wisdom that came from this rather than just the history of stoicism as most books tend to do. I also really enjoyed the more modern examples of stoic mindset such as Stephen hawking etc. I also have the audio book , which is also a great listen and excellent narration.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Chris 1981
  • 08-01-2020

great twist

simple idea, explained well and is an overlooked idea of how to implement stoic principles.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Murat dogan
  • 02-12-2019

Wonderful

it was an amazing audiobook. William b Irvine has to be one of my favourite authors on the subject of stoicism, especially in implementing in modern life. A real life changing book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • james Kirkpatrick
  • 30-05-2020

This is brilliant!

What a well written, entertaining and practical way of looking at stoicism. It delivers advice on how to reduce negative emotions from arising by reframing these and delivers ways of looking at your subconscious mind that maybe getting you stuck in current pattens of behaviour. Just about to listen to it again!

1 person found this helpful

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  • MR JM FOSTER
  • 23-05-2020

Interesting and useful

My only criticism is that some of the content overlaps with some of Irvine's other books. Despite that, I took lots of value from this and strongly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Terry Rosalind
  • 23-04-2020

Good guide to Stoicism

William Irvine writes great books on Stoicism. This would have five stars were in not for the extremely annoying overuse of the word SETBACKS.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Snobbles
  • 05-11-2019

Very basic

Largely obvious and overly worked comments that most Stoics will have studied at the start of their journey.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-07-2020

Really enjoyable

I found this audiobook very easy to digest. I'll be listening to this again.
There are some exercises and outlines on how to paractice stocism which are fun and insightful.
I would recommend this to anybody.