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The Manual: A Philosopher's Guide to Life (Stoic Philosophy Book 1)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  1,777 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Life's Missing Instruction Manual 

Epictetus (c. 50-135 CE) was brought as a slave to Rome, where he became a great teacher, deeply influencing the future emperor Marcus Aurelius among many others. His philosophy, Stoicism, was practical, not theoretical--aimed at relieving human suffering here and now.

And Epictetus knew suffering. Besides being a former slave, he was lame
Kindle Edition, 66 pages
Published April 23rd 2017 by Ancient Renewal
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 ·  1,777 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Cheryl Kennedy
Do not say of anything "I have lost it," but rather, "I have given it back."

Has your wife died? You have given her back.
Has your child died? You have given him back.
Have you lost your home? You have given it back,

"But, you may retort, "a bad person took it." It is not your concern by what means something returns to the Source from which it came.

For as long as the Source entrusts something to your hands, treat it as something borrowed, like a traveler at an inn.

If you make peace with all thi
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Wonderful Translation

I'm a sucker for plainly written translations, and this exceeds expectations. As for the content, while you probably won't agree with every maxim (I didn't), there's no question you'll find several passages that will push you toward meaningful change in your life.
Miss Maya
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lead me, Fate, wherever you will
and I will cheerfully follow.
For, even if I kick and wail,
all the same, I must follow.

_ Cleanthes
C. L. Kay
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very quick and easy to read--nuggets of wisdom.

I finished the text in under 30 minutes but each but if wisdom requires deep contemplation and inner work. An interesting ancient perspective that still holds weight.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are a whole bunch of short translations of the Enchiridion, and this is one of them. I can't really recommend one over the others, so I'd say get a bunch of them and read 'em all (they're cheap).

In terms of value/word, this is about as good as it gets. So I'll give it five stars and move on.
Anamika Gioia
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A simple, quick and easy to read translation of The Manual by Epictetus. This book is full of philosophical principals that I would like to live my life by. I have highlights on almost every page of this book!
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle_unlimited
Nicely organized but redundant which is especially frustrating considering its size
Aycan Doganlar
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m sure I’m going to read this over and over again.
Dec 20, 2020 added it
Shelves: self-help, classics
Three Sentence Summary
1. Only your thoughts and actions are within your power.
2. Do not be disturbed by things that are not within your power.
3. An event becomes how you interpret it, not what it actually is.
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick read, a reader's digest of Epictetus writings, the 'main points' taken out and put into very short chapters you can print in a calendar. If you're after the life advice portion, and only that - no historical context etc. - of stoic thought this is a good start.

What of things, objects, and beings that delight your mind, are of good practical use, or which you dearly love? Remind yourself of their true nature, beginning with the smallest trifle and working upward.
If you have a favorite cup
Alexandru Somesan
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Now, this was a short book, I finished it in 30 minutes! The book cover is misleading: it's not a compilation of passages of Epictetus, it's a rewriting of his ideas entirely in Sam Torode's words, based on his reading and understanding of Epictetus.
The content is concise, clear and straightforward on how to act and think like a stoic philosopher. I rate it 4/5 because some ideas are repeated and because throughout the book, you do not get to grasp the context and the 'why' underlying the ideas
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
”You are the curator of your own fortunes and misfortunes”

”Of things some are in our power, and others are not. In our powers are opinion, movement toward a thing, desire, aversion (turning from a thing); and in a word, whatever are our own acts: not in our power are the body, property, reputation, offices (magisterial power), and in a word, whatever are not our own acts”

If you like or are familiar with Stoicism, none of what is in here will come as a surprise to you, but will more likely make
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stoicism and Buddhism, in terms of practical philosophy, are basically two sides of the same coin. The former is the intellectual/mental path, and the latter is the meditative path. Truly both are the only acceptable forms of 'self-help.' This book and the Meditations by Marcus Aurelius emphasize the invincibility of the rational soul and the necessity of anchoring oneself in its stable ground to withstand the storms of life. It is not a very popular prescription but very purposeful. True freedo ...more
Margo Angélique
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I finally understand the guy who calls everyone normies

Honestly it wasn't bad although there was actually a lot I did not agree with. This took me a while to read despite being short. It was a bit judgy.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Agreed with some parts, disagreed with others. Not everything is fully applicable to modern-day life or should be taken literally. Regardless, it's a quick read and has several helpful nuggets of advice, especially for anyone who spends too much time/energy worrying about what others think. ...more
Ben Ostrowsky
Short and to the point. Truly one of the wisest Vulcans ever born on Earth.
Miha Rekar
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
60 pages of distilled philosophy. You can read it in 30 mins. And then read it again. And again. 1900 years old knowledge but repacked in modern English. Can not recommend it enough.
Yannick Schutz
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Condensed dose of philosophy. Quick read but great bullet list of small chapters
Христо Стайков
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Concise, but full of meaningful thoughts and advices. Goes along wonderfully with Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations”
Zhexi (Bonnie)
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this because DHH recommends this book in the twitter.
Its main concept repeats what I have learned from a mentor and friend: “When anyone provokes you, remember that it is actually your own opinion provoking you. It is not the person who insults or attacks you who torments your mind, but the view you take of these things.” “This is only my interpretation, not reality itself.”
Prasanth K. Rajan
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! Nuggets of wisdom you would want to keep reading again and again.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We no less struggle to avoid distress and lead the good life today than we did in Ancient Greece—Epictetus’ practical advice is as relevant as ever. Torode’s clear, straightforward interpretation of Higginson’s turn of the century translation brings fresh air to Stoic philosophy’s core principles.
Gary alpis
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stoic Philosophy

Great read, simple guidelines for oneself to follow, reminders that we sometimes forget 💕🙏, will definitely recommend it to others.
Jonathan H. LATER
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book on Kindle with run 33 pages. The pages are full of wise content for people looking for a simple guide on how to conduct themselves day in and out. I love the words from classic philosophers, and Epictetus is one of the best when it comes to taking life as simply as possible. If you are looking for something to read on the go, bits here and there, this is the book I recommend. I also recommend popping it out every now and then and reflecting on what is written in this book.
If you are n
Victoria Fry
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wish I bought hard copy

A good book to keep on your bedstand at all times. I hope to pick this up in good and bad times.
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
The content of this little book may be dismissed as common sense. But consider -
"Common sense is not so common." - Voltaire
Even if we forget for one second, what Voltaire had to say. I believe there is still a vital difference between 'knowing' things and being able to regularly apply them in your life.
Knowledge -> Realization -> Wisdom (Actualization)
In the age of data and knowledge, everyone claims to know a lot about everything. But what's the use if it doesn't somehow help you in your life.
Farhan Khalid
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, stoicism
Sphere of control = free, independent, strong

Beyond sphere = weak, limited, dependent

Impermanence is the nature of all things

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters

You are in control of your thoughts, your impulse, your will to get and your will to avoid

Don’t blame others for hindering or disturbing or distressing you; blame your own judgments

Never say of anything, ‘I lost it’ — but say, ‘I gave it back’

As long as He gives it you, take care of it, treat it as passers
Ivaylo Durmonski
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Like every other human being, I’m anxious about things – whether I’ll do my job properly, how will people articulate my writings, what others think of me, etc. To my amazement, while reading the book, these weary feelings were lifted. I know that I should focus on my work and don’t corrupt my mind with thoughts about things I have little control but I didn’t know how. The Manual by Epictetus showed me what will happen in the long-run if I continue to worry about stuff I can’t control and ways to ...more
Isil Arican
May 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
One of the books that was on my reading list for a while, and I am not impressed.

It was not bad, and probably was a very good book for its time considering it was written around 100 CE. However, I could not shake the feeling of reading a very predictable self-help book. It was boring and did not offer any new wisdom or anything interesting to me.
Also, I should admit that I do not like books that try to tell you how to live your life. "Do this and do not do that" is the worst kind of a book in my
Danielle Grant
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Excellent, concise guide for living. Great introduction to writings of Epictetus, and to Stoic philosophy. Every maxim may not apply to all individuals, but regardless of personal beliefs, one will very likely find this guide adaptable/applicable to their daily mode of being.

Many thanks to Sam Torode for putting this manual into clear, easy-to -understand language. It was a great quick read and I look forward to re-reading, as well as reading Book #2 in the series, 'The Meditations - A
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Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was probably born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia (present day Pamukkale, Turkey), and lived in Rome until his exile to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece, where he lived most of his life and died. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses. Philosophy, he taught, is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. ...more

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