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Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave Kindle Edition
--General Jim Mattis, U.S. Marines (ret.) and 26th US Secretary of Defense
"Ryan Holiday’s Courage is Calling traces the history of courage and its many faces through the ages and arrives at the present day with an urgent call to arms for each and all of us. As we battle our enemies within and without, will we choose to rise-up to the call of our courage or blush and bow down to the whispers of our cowardice? Our answer to this question is about more than our sense of duty, it’s about our freedom. It’s about more than wins and losses, it’s about our survival. It’s on me, it’s on you, it’s on us. Take the dare we may."
--Matthew McConaughey, Academy Award Winning Actor and New York Times #1 best-selling author
“[Courage Is Calling] dresses us with the proper garments of courage, something we need more than ever.”
--George Raveling, Hall of Fame Basketball coach, Nike’s first Director of International Basketball
“Ryan Holiday shows his own courage in this book to not toe the line, to speak truth to power, and show us all why we must not defer to fear if we are to go forward together with grace and humanity. Drawing on examples across history--from the ancient Greek and Roman world to Florence Nightingale to his own critique of ‘hollow courage’ in our own times, Holiday shows why virtue matters now more than ever.”
--Nancy Sherman, Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University
"In a world full of people riddled with fears and deeply afraid of sticking their necks out, our salvation lies in cultivating courage in all arenas of life. In this book Ryan Holiday has provided a clear and inspiring guide for how to develop this highest of human virtues."
--Robert Greene, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power
“In this clarion call to act on your convictions, Holiday draws on a remarkable range of figures from Socrates to Solzhenitsyn. A heartfelt and passionate book.”
--Shadi Bartsch, Classics Professor at the University of Chicago
About the Author
- ASIN : B0947VHKC2
- Publisher : Portfolio (September 28, 2021)
- Publication date : September 28, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 5585 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 303 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,059 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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There are gems of observations scattered in a few chapters. A few thought frames that can be used to start facing a "fear" are mentioned, but not necessarily in a easy-to-categorize and absorb manner. The book itself is organized into three parts - Fear, Courage and Heroism. Roughly, the emphasis of each segment is (at least how I felt useful to go through the book) - why we are fearful or lack courage, how to create the first moves/momentum to build courage, and what can sustain and build. Instead of trying to formulate a somewhat linear narrative of causes-diagnosis-treatments-management, the reader is left to own devices to develop a thought framework of one's own.
Perhaps, the most original and useful section of the book is the discussion of his own experience at American Apparel (it is all the way at the end at "Afterword"). The self-appraisals and observations based on his experience there captures his views on courage very well - this chapter should have been the introduction, not the Afterword. That could potentially have set up the book much better.
Having read all his books and continue to enjoy his weekly reading lists, the last two books (this one and Life of Stoics) have been underwhelming. I wish he expands on his American Apparel experience and use that as a foil to narrate almost all the themes from his books on ego, obstacles, and courage. Even with some poetic licenses, that will be a good book. This one, will engage and entertain you for a bit, but the constant haranguing of finding the courage gives the book the tone of a cliched motivation speaker.
Don’t take my word for it though. On Amazon’s philosophy best sellers list, four of his books are in the top 10, five are in the top 20, and six are in the top 25.
There is absolutely no way you can’t learn something from him that will improve your life.
Near the end of the book, Holiday includes this inspiring quote from C.S. Lewis, and for me it sums up the point of the entire book. The world right now is suffering from a lack of courage, a lack of following through on other virtues and values you hold at the testing point. This book about courage is a call to action in the public sphere, but also a call to action in the private sphere -- a call to develop courage in your own family, your own heart, your own career.
Here are just a few of the highlights I made going through it:
"Foresee the worst to perform the best. When fear is defined, it can be defeated. When downside is articulated, it can be weighed against upside. When the wolves are counted, there are fewer of them. Mountains turn out to be molehills, monsters turn out just to be men."
"Don't worry about whether things will be hard. Because they will be. Instead, focus on the fact that these things will help you. This is why you needn't fear them."
"We go through life in two ways. We choose between effective truths: that we have the ability to change our situation, or that we are at the mercy of the situations in which we find ourselves. We can rely on luck . . . or cause and effect."
"The existential vacuum that began in the twentieth century continues to suck us into its dark maw. Religion, patriotism, industry–each day, collective belief in these pillars of humanity weakens. Just look at what we tell ourselves about history. Do we choose to see ourselves as the latest descendants in a long line of ancestors who have been struggling valiantly and against the odds, toward a better world? Or are we the bastard children of irredeemable racists, pillagers, and monsters? Are we the future of humanity–progress–or are we a plague upon the earth?"
A much needed book, now and in the future. For a non-fiction book, one of the highest compliments that you can pay to an author is that it somehow changes your thoughts or actions. This book should do that for a lot of readers.
This is my favorite book that I have read of Ryan Holiday's and one that I will be buying multiple copies of to give out. I read a lot of books, but rarely re-read anything. This one will go on my shelf to revisit down the road. Highly recommended.
Top reviews from other countries
I was lucky at eighteen to join a job that tested my mettle, but as life in general gets softer few youngsters learn to face down their fears. He’s done a good job here mixing old wisdom and modern advice.
EDIT: Yeah, enjoyed it and still dipping in, but I can’t help feeling he’s missed a trick. An appendix giving real life examples of progressively overcoming fears would’ve been a great extra to this book. (See ‘Fear, the friend of exceptional people’ by Geoff Thompson)
The book is good as it stands though, so remains five stars from me.
But that’s just me, I’m probably in a minority. People seem to like these books more than ever, and don’t seem to mind the author’s attempts at political messaging. If you’ve liked the author’s books in the past, you’re probably going to like this one too.