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What’s in it for me? A Stoic guide to self-help.

Philosophers often got a bum rap in the ancient world. That was sometimes down to the fact that many of them were natural-born trouble-makers and contrarians.  Mostly, however, it was because they were seen as hopelessly impractical. As a famous Greek joke had it, they were the kind of folks who could become so distracted gazing up at the stars that they fell down wells.  That’s wide of the mark when it comes to the Stoics, a school of Greek and Roman thinkers whose philosophy was squarely rooted in everyday life. Theory, they believed, should concern itself with the here and now. The most important question of all? How to lead a happy life.  Different Stoics came up with different answers over the centuries, but they all agreed on one thing: the happiest among us are those who have learned to stop worrying about the things they can’t control.  That insight, Derren Brown argues, remains every bit as relevant today as it was 2,500 years ago. The trick is knowing how to apply it to your life, which is what we’ll be exploring in these readims.  Along the way, you’ll learn why you can’t buy your way to happiness; how to keep a lid on your temper; and why Twitter and Facebook make us miserable. 

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