How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor
by Donald Robertson | 304 pages

Donald Robertson is one of the world’s leading thinkers, writers AND practitioners of Stoic philosophy. He’s also a therapist who integrates Stoicism into his work with individuals. This is our second Note on one of his great books. The first Note was on The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in which he connects the philosophical underpinnings of CBT (one of the most empirically-validated, effective modern therapies) to ancient Stoicism. This book is part biography and part philosophy. It’s all awesome. If you want to know how to think like a Roman emperor, start here. I think you’ll enjoy the book as much as I did.


“The Stoics can teach you how to find a sense of purpose in life, how to face adversity, how to conquer anger within yourself, moderate your desires, experience healthy sources of joy, endure pain and illness patiently and with dignity, exhibit courage in the face of your anxieties, cope with loss, and perhaps even confront your own mortality while remaining as unperturbed as Socrates. Marcus Aurelius faced colossal challenges during his reign as emperor of Rome. The Meditations provides a window into his soul, allowing us to see how he guided himself through it all. Indeed, I would invite you, as a reader, to put effort into reading this book in a special way, to try and place yourself in Marcus’s shoes and look at life through his eyes, through the lens of his philosophy. Let’s see if we can accompany him on the journey he made as he transformed himself, day by day, into a fully-fledged Stoic. Fate permitting, more people may be able to apply the wisdom of Stoicism to the real challenges and everyday problems of modern living. However, that change won’t leap off the page. It only comes by making a firm decision, here and now, to begin putting ideas like these into practice. As Marcus wrote to himself,

Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be;
just be one.

~ Donald Robertson from How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

Donald Robertson is one of the world’s leading thinkers, writers AND practitioners of Stoic philosophy. He’s also a therapist who integrates Stoicism into his work with individuals.

This is our second Note on one of his great books.

The first Note was on The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in which he connects the philosophical underpinnings of CBT (one of the most empirically-validated, effective modern therapies) to ancient Stoicism.

In that book, he also tells us that most modern-day academic “philosophers” act more like “librarians of the mind” (cataloging the *theory*) rather than “warriors of the mind” (actually putting the philosophy into PRACTICE.) <- I just love that distinction.

In this book, we get an amazing look into the life and mind (and soul!) of one of history’s greatest philosophers who also just so happened to be one of its greatest leaders: Marcus Aurelius.

If you want to know how to think like a Roman emperor, start here. I think you’ll enjoy the book as much as I did. (Get a copy here.)

The book is part biography and part philosophy. It’s all awesome.

Of course, it’s packed with Big Ideas and, as always, I’m excited to share a few of my favorites we can apply to our lives TODAY so let’s jump straight in.

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About the author

Authors

Donald Robertson

Psychotherapist, specialising in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), and the treatment of anxiety.