A calendar of wisdom by Leo Tolstoy, wise thoughts for every day
April 18. What is important is not the quantity of your knowledge, but its quality. You can know many things without knowing that which is most important. — Leo Tolstoy
I was searching the on the internet and came across an interesting article on Knowledge and the Meaning of Life. This suddenly convinced me I need to read A calendar of wisdom by Leo Tolstoy so I bought the book.
I have started reading this book on 18 April during the past year and finished this year on the same date. Every morning, I used my phone’s alarm clock to remind me that I need to read the quote of the day. So I spent weeks reading it in this way until I developed a new habit.
In this book, Tolstoy collected quotes from Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Lao-Tzu, Buddha, Pascal, Jesus, Muhammad, Confucius, Emerson, Kant, Ruskin, Seneca, Socrates, Thoreau and much more.
What can you learn from this book?
- Intellect – Bad books are intellectual poison. You need to distinguish between good and bad information and you should take the responsibility for verifying and critically absorbing the information you encounter. It’s okay to create multidisciplinary reading diets but you must be aware of cheap information and stick only with good books.
- Knowledge – Better to know a few things which are good and necessary than many things which are useless and mediocre. Memorizing things is not knowledge, knowledge is real knowledge only when it is acquired by the efforts of your intellect. The most critical piece of knowledge, then, is the knowledge of what is essential to learn and what isn’t. Only organized knowledge becomes power through daily action and persistence. Study less and think more.
- Perfectionism – impossible without humility, strive only for spiritual perfection.
- Life – Be happy with what you have and where you are now and if you are not joyful anymore for any reason just look to understand your mistakes. Restrict yourself to the present and don’t concern with the trouble of the whole world. Keep cultivating. your own garden.
- Self – understanding the inner self will give you the key to the meaning of life. Avoid being enslaved by consumerism. Be a good person, love your neighbor as yourself. Fear not for lack of things but for those unnecessary accumulated in your life.
- Death – Eventually, you’ll be totally forgotten. Keep death in mind every day, never drift far away from philosophy. Remembering that nothing belongs to you but your flesh and blood will help you avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose and you will focus on getting things done.
Tolstoy will teach you how to make a good decision on which books to read and which to avoid, it will also give you good bits of advice on how to live a proper life and how to find happiness.
I was always delaying good reads for no reason but now I must confess that I found much more wisdom in reading this book and must admit, I wish I read this first.
What else can I add, wish you a good read and hope you enjoy it as well. Let me know if you like it as much as I did.
Please let me know what was the last book you read? Have any book recommendations? I’ll be glad to hear about.