ryan holiday

ryan holiday


Stoic optimism:TEDxUChicago 2014


the obstacle is the way

book links to amazon

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obstacle is the way on kindle

Turn it around. Find some benefit. Use it as fuel.

Nothing could stop them, they were (and continue to be) impossible to discourage or contain. Every impediment only served to make the inferno within them burn with greater ferocity.

The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.

When you have a goal, obstacles are actually teaching you how to get where you want to go—carving you a path.

Objective judgment, now at this very moment. Unselfish action, now at this very moment. Willing acceptance—now at this very moment—of all external events. That’s all you need. —MARCUS AURELIUS

While others are excited or afraid, we will remain calm and imperturbable. We will see things simply and straightforwardly, as they truly are—neither good nor bad

Rockefeller had sangfroid: unflappable coolness under pressure. He could keep his head while he was losing his shirt. Better yet, he kept his head while everyone else lost theirs.

instead of bemoaning this economic upheaval, Rockefeller eagerly observed the momentous events. Almost perversely, he chose to look at it all as an opportunity to learn, a baptism in the market. He quietly saved his money and watched what others did wrong

Speculation led to disaster, he realized, and he needed to always ignore the “mad crowd” and its inclinations.

The opportunity didn’t feel right to him at the time, no matter how excited the rest of the market was—so he refunded the money and stayed away from drilling

A mistake becomes training

Yet in our own lives, we aren’t content to deal with things as they happen. We have to dive endlessly into what everything “means,” whether something is “fair” or not, what’s “behind” this or that, and what everyone else is doing. Then we wonder why we don’t have the energy to actually deal with our problems. Or we get ourselves so worked up and intimidated because of the overthinking, that if we’d just gotten to work we’d probably be done already

Emerson put it best: “We cannot spend the day in explanation.” Don’t waste time on false constructs

So many people in our lives have preached the need to be realistic or conservative or worse—to not rock the boat. This is an enormous disadvantage when it comes to trying big things

He would be successful precisely because of what he’d been through and how he’d reacted to it

They start. Anywhere. Anyhow. They don’t care if the conditions are perfect or if they’re being slighted. Because they know that once they get started, if they can just get some momentum, they can make it work. As it went for Amelia Earhart.

In 1878, Thomas Edison wasn’t the only person experimenting with incandescent lights. But he was the only man willing to test six thousand different filaments—including

Welcoming the opportunity to test and test and test, grateful for the priceless knowledge this reveals

slow pressure, repeated from many different angles, the elimination of so many other more promising options, that slowly and surely churned the solution to the top of the pile. Their genius was unity of purpose, deafness to doubt, and the desire to stay at it. So what if this method isn’t as “scientific” or “proper” as others? The important part is that it works. Working at it works. It’s that simple. (But again, not easy.)

For most of what we attempt in life, chops are not the issue. We’re usually skilled and knowledgeable and capable enough. But do we have the patience to refine our idea?

temporary setbacks aren’t discouraging. They are just bumps along a long road that you intend to travel all the way down

Only in struggling with the impediments that made others quit can we find ourselves on untrodden territory—only

It’s goings to take a lot out of you—but energy is an asset we can always find more of. It’s a renewable resource

When people ask where we are, what we’re doing, how that “situation” is coming along, the answer should be clear: We’re working on it

Failure shows us the way—by showing us what isn’t the way

Don’t think small, but make the distinction between the critical and the extra.

Under this kind of force, obstacles break apart. They have no choice. Since you’re going around them or making them irrelevant, there is nothing for them to resist

Whoever cannot seek the unforeseen sees nothing, for the known way is an impasse. —HERACLITUS


find/follow Ryan:
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via fb share by Jason: stop reading news

“It’s not that I am going underground or completely disconnecting from current events. It’s that I’ve decided I am no longer going to watch them develop in real time. I’m going to watch the Saints play each Sunday, I’m not going to fool myself into thinking that tuning into Sports Center on Tuesday will help. I see it not as an act of resignation, but of empowerment. I reject the idea that the pot is nearly at a boil and I must watch it closely until the exact moment that it happens. I say it’s time we remember the adage that a watched pot never boils. Our attention hasn’t made a difference—if anything, it created our situation. For that reason, I will not longer be following the news.


On the other end of that is another phenomenon called the narcotizing dysfunction which attempts to explain why highly informed citizens are often surprisingly inactive politically. The answer is that they confuse reading, thinking and chatting about issues (i.e “consuming”) with doing anything about them.


At the core of it, viewers think that staying informed and ‘reacting’ to the news is a form of participation (helping their favorite causes, teams or stocks) and elites have taken it for granted that media narratives are a window into the people’s will. But is it? When news sites deliberately create and cultivate outrage to get clicks, is what people are pissed off about online really an indicator of anything?


we’ve begun to experience a sort of scandal immunity. We’re aghast at what is exposed to us…yet no real changes result from it. No one is listening to you—they’re laughing at you. They’re glad you’re distracted.


How can citizens be expected to contribute more actively to democracy when they already believe they’re spending hours a day constructively participating in the exchange of ideas?


Unless we intervene.


So let’s mark the end of 2016 by resetting.

a nother way.. for (blank)’s sake


via share by Doug: 4 ways to do failure w/o ego


4\ always love

You know what is a better response to an attack or a slight or something you don’t like? Love. That’s right, love. For the neighbor who won’t turn down the music. For the parent that let you down. For the bureaucrat who lost your paperwork. For the group that rejects you. For the critic who attacks you. The former partner who stole your business idea. The bitch or the bastard who cheated on you. Love.

We find that what defines great leaders is that instead of hating their enemies, they feel a sort of pity and empathy for them. Think of Martin Luther King Jr., over and over again, preaching that hate was a burden and love was freedom. Love was transformational, hate was debilitating. “Hate,” he said “is a cancer that gnaws away at the very vital center of your life and your existence. It is like eroding acid that eats away the best and the objective center of your life.”


Sam Altman (@sama) tweeted at 6:22 PM – 9 Feb 2017 :

“I Helped Create the Milo Trolling Playbook. You Should Stop Playing Right Into It.” https://t.co/WUR1hLdyiU(http://twitter.com/sama/status/829863113847508996?s=17)


Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday – ebook on hold – thanks library

still\ness book by Ryan Holiday (2019)