Twenty-seven years old and hailing from Thun, Switzerland, Jonas Salzgeber is the author of The Little Book of Stoicism and blogs for a small army of remarkable people at njlifehacks.com. He’s an expert in Stoic philosophy and passionate about self-made dark chocolate and buttered coffee with collagen.
I started taking writing seriously in 2015 when I started blogging with my brother Nils. Before that, I wrote papers for university and personal stuff in my journal.
- What inspired you to write The Little Book of Stoicism?
Well, I fell in love with Stoicism when I read Ryan Holiday’s books The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, and The Daily Stoic. So I continued reading about Stoic philosophy, I read the original texts and modern books. I started writing about it on the blog and people loved it.
During my research for blog articles, I found that it’s quite hard to get a clear overview of the philosophy. Despite reading many books on the topic, it was still hard to explain it properly to friends. So, it became my goal to provide a clear and simple overview and make Stoicism easy to grasp and put into practice. Suddenly, I was writing a “Little Book” that became more and more thorough.
3. What challenges did you face writing this book and how did you deal with them?
The challenges were twofold. First, doing research was quite a challenge because there are many different translations for the ancient texts. Ryan Holiday, for example, used his own translations with Stephen Hanselmann. I ended up using quotes from different sources. In retrospect, I’d deal with that beforehand and only go with one source. For the average reader, this isn’t an issue. So it’s no big deal and I’m ok with the way it turned out.
Second, writing a book is a massive challenge. I had to overcome my inner resistance to sit down to write every day. And actually produce something. Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art was truly helpful. Also, I had to deal with fears and insecurity. Will people understand what I write? Will it be helpful? Will people pick up the book and reading? How to bake marketing in the book? Further, how to structure the book? What to include, what to leave away. I find that writing a book is great opportunity for personal growth. I overcame procrastination, built perseverance and strength during the writing process. Also, I was able to embrace the Stoics’ advice and put it into practice.
- Why should people read your book?
Why shouldn’t people read my book? Traditional schooling doesn’t help much when it comes to real life. It doesn’t teach how to live well. It doesn’t answer questions like how to deal with my sorrows. How to deal with anger grief, fear, and pain? What to do about reoccurring depressive thoughts?
This was exactly what ancient schools of philosophy were all about: how to live a good life? Even though such schools don’t exist anymore, you and I and most people are in a great need of a guide to life. Stoicism can be that guide. Like an old reliable walking stick, it’s a guide to life based on reason rather than faith and helps you deal more effectively with challenging life situations reliably.
Everyone who’s interested in personal growth should read the book. Even if you’re not interested in Stoic philosophy, there are countless invaluable tools that help you when life happens. It’s highly actionable and for anyone seeking a calm and wise life.
- What advice would you give to other writers and authors?
Be vulnerable. We’re all human. Persevere in your undertaking. The struggles you’re going through are not unique. Even the very best writers all face these exact same challenges. Read the War of Art, it’ll help you keep going when the process becomes an immense hurdle.
- Future projects?
As I’m a working full-time job, my full focus is on the book launch. Writing a book is one thing, making sure people know about the book is a whole other challenge. Once the book is out and we’ve got some time to breathe, we’ll focus on growing our audience with the blog.
As for the next book, Nils and I plan to write about powerful mindsets to adopt for ambitious people who want to be their best. It’s not very concrete yet.
7. Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for the interview opportunity. I highly appreciate your support.
What’s always good to keep in mind is this: Life is supposed to be challenging. Don’t bury your head in the sand when it gets tough. See it as opportunity to show what you’re made of. Every challenge offers an opportunity for growth.
And for the folks who waste their time watching Netflix and scrolling through social media: Start reading books! That’s a much smarter way to spend your time. You only have this one life, so try to make the best of it. Don’t let a day go by without learning.
Author: Jonas Salzgeber
Author blog: www.njlifehacks.com
Book page: www.njlifehacks.com/the-little-book-of-stoicism/
Genre: Non-Fiction, Philosophy, Psychology, Self-Help
Release Date: January 28th, 2019
Length: 60k words
Available formats: Mobi, EPub, PDF