Guide to the good life

A Guide to the Good Life by William Braxton Irvine

Category: Personal Growth

(85 von 100)

Why: I need to protect my tranquility.
Goal: Learn how to lessen the impact of social disturbance.
*Tranquillity is the quality or state of being calm, serene, and worry-free.

Action: Loving Mankind is Our Duty.

3 Key Concepts

  1. It is our duty to love mankind.
  2. Befriend only those who share our values.
  3. Humor is an antidote to an insult.


How to love mankind?

Recognize that the main human function is to be rational and to be social. “Find the rational way to help others live better.”

This book guides us to live with stoic values. The author suggests various lessons with examples to demystify the misconceptions about the stoic way of thinking. Read more about Stoic: The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday.

Love Mankind
Show humanity by loving mankind.

Love Mankind

It is our daily task to maintain social relations. As a human, we need these interactions, yet they are disrupting our tranquility. We are anxious that others will think poorly of us, and therefore, we try to do anything to be approved.

To know how many are jealous of you, count your admirers.


The man’s work is to be rational.
Our common human duty is to be both rational and social.
We are all born to work together and bear with them.

Practice: Remind yourself before step out of the house that people out there will annoy and upset you. Be prepared.

Befriend Selectively

It is unavoidable to deal with people with corrupted values. But, we can be selective with our effort to befriend people who hold common values. Especially those who are higher at these common values.

Stoic advises avoiding people that endlessly complain. They directly and constantly disrupt our tranquility.

Practice: Remind yourself that you are also a human; you are also hard to deal with.

Humor against Insult

Insult disturbs us and disrupts our tranquility. It also lasts long after it is delivered. Therefore, we should be particularly prepared to deal with insults.

Practice: The easiest thing is to ignore; the best thing is to have humor and don’t take yourself too seriously. Saying that the insulter knows nothing, as if he does, he would have mentioned even a bigger failure you made.

To sum up

Stoic is a practice to protect our own tranquility. With these wise suggestions, I have seen the rationale behind human interactions. And I am encouraged to do my human duty with more commitment: to love mankind and treat them the way we should.

Keep calm.

Goal check: I learned how to behave when somebody wrongs me.

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