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Ryan Holiday is the best selling author of 11 books including The Obstacle Is the Way, The Daily Stoic, Ego Is the Enemy, and Stillness is the Key which has sold millions of copies and been translated into thirty languages. His latest book is called Discipline is Destiny – The Power of Self Control.


  • We must be in command of ourselves. We have to conquer ourselves before others.
  • Self Discipline – Freedom is the opportunity for self-discipline.
  • The trivial – The people who sustain excellence fall in love with the process. They don’t cheat it.
  • Choose to see obstacles as opportunities.
  • Dr. Drew recommended to Ryan that he should read books about stoicism when he was 19. This was a pivotal moment.
  • Carry The Load For Others  – General Jim Mattis. “The privilege of command is command. You don’t get a bigger tent. “Being the boss is a job. Being a leader is something you earn.”
  • Seek Discomfort – Seneca was a rich man. He inherited estates from his father. He invested well. Yet every so often, for a few days, he would eat only the scantest fare and wear his coarest clothing. He would actively seek out discomfort, mimicking abject poverty and harsher life conditions. 
  • Having a full calendar – “That doesn’t seem like a rich life.”
  • Just show up — Consistency. Thomas Edison said “I’ve got no imagination. Thank never dream. I’ve created nothing.” The genius hangs around his laboratory day and night.”
  • Your Why must be intrinsic.
  • Just work – in Ancient Greece, there was a word to describe a ceaseless work ethic — philoponia  (about the author Joyce Carol Oates). She published a ton over the course of decades.
  • Work out — “Obviously the philosopher’s life should be well prepared for physical activity.” — the Stoic Gaius Musonius Rufus explained, “because often the virtues make use of this as a necessary instrument for the affairs of low.” The strenuous life is the best life — exercise. You must take care of your body. And eat well.
  • Endure – Shackelton’s family motto — “Fortitude Vincimus” — “By endurance we conquer.”
  • George Washington — When he was 26, he watched a play about the Stoics and started repeating the phrase “in the calm light of mild philosophy.”
  • Focus Focus Focus — In Yogic tradition they call this Ekagrata — intense focus on a singular point.
  • Do the hard thing first — Mark Twain – “the idea is that if we eat the frog at the beginning of the day, it will be next to impossible for the day to get any worse.”
  • Can you get back up? “Losing is not always up to us, but being a loser is. Being a quitter is.”
  • Silence is Strength — The Spartans’ “laconic” style. Never use 2 words when 1 will do. Archimedes once explained at a Spartan dinner, “An expert on speaking also knows when not to do so.”
  • When Ryan speaks to NFL teams: “I try to give them one or two practical things to implement.”
  • Be Your Best – “Conquering the world is rather easy after we have fully conquered ourselves. Certainly fewer people have done the latter than the former.”
  • Taking a stand – How successful are you really if you can’t be yourself?”
  • Lou Gehrig –  “When you love the work, you don’t cheat it or the demands it makes of you. You respect even the most trivial aspects of the pursuit.”

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