How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

16 April, 2019

3 minute read

What am I working on?

I edited the design of my Adobe XD app prototype from last week, you can check that out here. Overall I think I made the UI better by adding different variations of my darker color to highlight different information in a less drastic way, simplifying the bottom navigation icons, and tightening the spacing up on the Artist Profile and User Profile screens. If you’re interested in reading more about how to use color in your own designs, here is an article I found helpful.

Outside of coursework, I started to add basic colors from my app design in the actual development for PlayRight. I also added two new basic screens – Tab and Artist Profile. I’m still figuring out React Navigation so it’s important I get the structure of everything right. This week I plan to use a switch navigator in setting up the authentication screens. I’ve been reading up on everything AWS offers for my internship this summer and signed up for a student account for now to learn the basics of Cognito and hopefully use it in the authentication for PlayRight! I continued brushing up on working with Symfony and have been using Homestead to work on a project using a Vagrant box. Yes🤪 – I do find it difficult to juggle all this information around at the same time in my head but it’s all part of the process, you just have to keep going!

What am I reading?

With all the time I put into coursework and development this past week, I haven’t done as much “sporadic” reading as I would have liked🧐. However I’m extremely grateful to have been sent a copy of Donald Robertson’s How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius in response to me reaching out on a philanthropic tweet. I know right? A “philanthropic tweet”? Twitter being used (in a good way) for something other than memes and noise? All this aside, that book is all I’ve been reading and I have to say it’s been good to stick with just one book. It’s all about how one of the greatest Stoic philosophers (Marcus Aurelius) lived to pursue what is meaningful and excellent.

If you’ve read some past posts or tweets of mine, you’d know I’m really into learning about Stoic philosophy. Which by the way, is different from lowercase “stoicism”. Ever since my Dad lent me his copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, I’ve read and reread it throughout the past few years (sorry Dad, I’ll get it back to you at some point🤣). Getting to learn more about one of Ancient Rome’s greatest emperors and his approach to life has been awesome. Robertson does a great job laying out the history, philosophy, and discussing how modern psychological techniques found their roots in Stoicism. Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Beck, the main pioneers behind cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) even wrote in The Cognitive Therapy of Depression:

“The philosophical origins of cognitive therapy can be traced back to the Stoic philosophers.”

Now that’s bananas. I’m already about a third of the way through and plan to stick to just reading it until I’m finished. What have you been reading or learning about that you really like? Tweet at or email me!

Quote I’m digging…

“The Stoics therefore took the name of philosophy, meaning”love of wisdom," quite literally. They loved wisdom, or loved virtue, above everything else. If “virtue” sounds a bit pompous, the Greek work for it, arete, is arguably better translated as “excellence of character.” Something excels, in this sense, if it performs its function well. Humans excel when they think clearly and reason well about their lives, which amounts to living wisely." ~ Donald Robertson

What am I listening to?

“Marcel” by Her’s

“Chewed Up” by Saffron

“No Distance” by Morning Teleportation