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Stillness Is the Key Kindle Edition
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|Length: 283 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 3 of 3 in The Way, the Enemy and the Key
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—Mark Manson, #1 bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
"The next Malcolm Gladwell. Ryan Holiday's just brilliant."
“Whether you are an athlete, an investor, a writer or an entrepreneur, this little but wise and soulful book will open the door to a healthier, less anxious and more productive life and career.”
“Some authors give advice. Ryan Holiday distills wisdom. This book is a must read for anyone feeling overwhelmed by the frenetic demands of modern life."
—Cal Newport, New York Times bestselling author of Digital Minimalism
“Don’t be fooled. Within the pages of this unassuming little book lie a life-changing idea: that in order to move forward, we must learn to be still. Ryan Holiday has done it again.”
—Sophia Amoruso, Co-Founder & CEO, Girlboss
“This short and entertaining book provides useful tools and captivating examples on how to keep a healthy, clutter-free and productive mind.
—Manu Ginobili, four time NBA champion and Olympic Gold Medalist
"Ryan Holiday is among the most psychologically wise writers I know. I'm a fan of all of his work, including this new gem, Stillness is the Key. If you struggle—as I do—to find your center in the increasingly noisy and frenetic world we live in, then this book is for you."
—Angela Duckworth, bestselling author of Grit
“In the world today the dangers are many—most notably, the endless distractions and petty battles that make us act without purpose or direction. In this book, through his masterful synthesis of Eastern and Western philosophy, Ryan Holiday teaches us all how to maintain our focus and presence of mind amid the sometimes overwhelming conflicts and troubles of 21st-century life.”
“Ryan Holiday is one of the brilliant writers and minds of our time. In Stillness is the Key he gives us the blueprint to clear our minds, recharge our souls and reclaim our power.”
—Jon Gordon, author of The Energy Bus
“Highly recommended. Great read.”
—CJ McCollum, Portland Trailblazers
"Ryan Holiday is a national treasure and a master in the field of self-mastery. In his most compelling book yet, he has mined both the classical literature of the ancient world and cultural touchstones from Mister Rogers to Tiger Woods, and brought his learnings to us in terms that the frantic, distracted, over-caffeinated modern mind can understand and put to use. Highly recommended."
—Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of The War of Art and The Artist's Journey
“A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.”
About the Author
- File size : 20385 KB
- Publication date : October 1, 2019
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 283 pages
- Publisher : Portfolio (October 1, 2019)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07MJ3TDCZ
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,610 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But it is into the second part of the book where it all starts to fall apart, leading up to the cliche-fest that is the chapter titled “Accepting a Higher Power.” I get the unfortunate impression that Holiday doesn’t understand the difference between religion and philosophy. For someone supposedly well-versed in the practice of Stoicism, talk of “surrendering to a higher power” is entirely antithetical to the philosophy. Stoicism teaches us that the greatest goods are reason and virtue, and that the cultivation of virtue is entirely independent of anything external to ourselves and the people around us.
Holiday writes, “There is no stillness to the mind that thinks of nothing but itself.” This is supposed to imply that some sort of religious faith in a higher power is necessary for a meaningful life, as if a sense of awe cannot be achieved by, for example, looking through the Hubble Space Telescope, or that actually helping other people isn’t a better way to be selfless than praying. I’ll admit that I’m growing tired of reading authors projecting their own psychology into the text and assuming that those lacking religious faith are selfish and miserable. Science and humanism are enough for me, and for many other Stoics, humanists, atheists, and agnostics, thank you.
Holiday also betrays his lack of training as a professional philosopher when he insists, more than once, that if many different people believed something in the past, it must be true. This “appeal to the bandwagon” fallacy is constantly repeated, with the implication that because belief in a deity was widespread in the past that it must be true. As Holiday writes, “That was the story with Lincoln. Like many smart young people, he was an atheist early in life, but the trials of adulthood, especially the loss of his son and the horrors of the Civil War, turned him into a believer.” It’s interesting to note that Holiday doesn’t mention David Hume, Bertrand Russell, Jeremey Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Denis Diderot, John Dewey, and most contemporary philosophers and scientists that were or are atheists. (Diderot and Russell didn’t have easy lives, both being imprisoned for their beliefs. But neither “smart young person” recanted their atheism later in life.)
And here’s some condescension for you: Holiday writes, in the chapter on accepting a higher power, “Perhaps you’re not ready to do that, to let anything into your heart. That’s okay. There’s no rush. Just know that this step is open to you. It’s waiting. And it will help restore you to sanity when you’re ready.”
If you enjoy being talked down to like this, you’ll love the book!
The structure of the book is also somewhat redundant. It’s broken up into three parts: mind, spirit, and body. However, the chapters titled “Say No” and “Seek Solitude” in the body section are largely a repeat of the chapters titled “Limit Your Inputs” and “Cultivate Silence” in the mind section. There is, in fact, a lot of redundancy found throughout the book, along with a large dose of empty phrases with little substance.
There are, to be fair, some redeeming qualities. The numerous biographical details are interesting, and, again, there is some genuinely good advice, particularly when Holiday sticks closest to Stoicism. However, this is not something I could recommend. I think you’d be better off reading the classics of Stoicism or contemporary philosophers specializing in Stoicism like Massimo Pigliucci.
So... When Penguin Random House sent me an advance copy of this book (Thanks, guys!), I couldn't wait to read it.
In fact, one of the testimonials in the front of the book perfectly captures my sentiment. Screenwriter and director Brian Koppelman (Rounders, Ocean’s Thirteen and Billions) puts it this way: “I don’t have many rules in life, but one I never break is: If Ryan Holiday writes a book, I read it as soon as I can get my hands on it.” <- Exactly.
(Plus: Cal Newport (who arm wrestles Ryan for my favorite writer status) is the first testimonial in the book. He says: “Some authors give advice. Ryan Holiday distills wisdom. This book is a must read.” <- Yep.)
This book is an inspiring, super-practical look at WHY "stillness" is such an essential component to peak performance in every domain of life. I highly (!) recommend it.
Almost everything Ryan writes in this book is Profound.
With Ryan's specific direction and insight, and with your own discipline, you can EASILY become a better version of yourself.
Highly Recommended! I'd give it 6 stars if I could. Cheers!
The whole book is a regurgitation of what others basically said and there is no new or original thoughts presented. Lots of examples that will no resonate with many people who are not familiar with sports or athletes as author uses examples from sports events.
I would have returned the extra copies purchased by they had already been handed out to staff and none seemed impressed with the gift lol I generally like this author but this was a lazy piece of work
With that said, I will provide a more detailed review as soon as I'm done reading in the coming days!
Not the quality of thought as previous work. This one seems contrived, and shallow.
Writing rambles on and is not clear and concise as the reader has come to expect.
Top reviews from other countries
With information overload, lots of people have forgotten how to be more present and in the moment. Maybe this is why mindfulness has become so popular. Boredom is something that people hate with a device needed to keep us company and our minds indulged, even when waiting in the shortest of queues or period of inactivity.
From a peak performance perspective, stillness as Ryan describes it becomes really important to maintain focus and presence during overwhelming chaos and stress.
This is a small book but packed with richness. Ryan uses stories of Abraham Lincoln, John F Kennedy, Marina Abramovic, Napoleon, Shawn Green, Fred Rogers, Anne Frank, Socrates, John Cage, Awa Kenzo, Marcus Aurelius, Tiger Woods, Seneca, Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Jordan, Winston Churchill, Epictetus, William Gladstone and many others.
Ryan uses these to demonstrate how important stillness is for self-mastery, discipline and focus in this noisy world.
The book divided into three parts:
Each part has several chapters making the case for stillness and giving life practices that can help to practically develop stillness.
I do feel that the book could have more practical tips but for me it really does help with stirring the emotions and helping to really value the importance of stillness in my life and finding ways to develop this.
For me this topic is really important. I previously read Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport and have also pre-ordered Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Indistractable-Control-Your-Attention-Choose/dp/1526610221/
I will be reading this book a few times to inspire me and develop practices to help me as I try to navigate this world of chaos. I recommend this if this is the journey you are also looking to take.
Having read Ryan’s other books The obstacle is the way and Ego is the enemy I was excited to learn about this new book coming out.
As a martial artist I like the eastern philosophies Zen, Taoism, etc… So the title spoke to me.
The book, just like Ryan’s other books consists out three parts which are divided into chapters. These chapters are each a story around a theme.
Stories are great vehicles to get lessons across. The stories by Ryan often do more than just teach, they also inspire. Ryan who is known for being inspired by Stoicism, delves into many different backgrounds for his stories, east, west, past and present… Universal and timeless…
Like classical music where the same pieces are played with different chords the book sheds a fresh light on classical teachings.
What I like about the book is the storytelling, the easy to read stories can be easily read during a short break, not too long, not too short and they grab your attention and hold it right up to the end. Then the rest of the day you can ponder on it and try to apply it in your daily life.
The act of reading the book itself already gets you into this state of stillness. Which brings peace on a hectic day and answers to questions and problems.
Stillness is indeed the key. And like the Zen saying goes:
“It is the silence between the notes that makes the music; it is the space between the bars that cages the tiger.”