Ryan Holiday: 5 Top Lessons You Can Learn from Him

“Where the head goes, the body follow. Perception precedes action. Right action follows the right perspective.” -Ryan Holiday. Ryan Holiday is an American author, modern stoic, host of the Podcast “The Daily Stoic” and much more. He teaches us how to live with high values whilst always trying to be better than yesterday. 

Before beginning, you must understand that these lessons come from the Stoic school of philosophy which demands self-control. It is well worth digging into! So without further ado, here’s Ryan Holiday: 5 Top Lessons You Can Learn from Him!

1. What Do You Value? 

When you know where you are going, you know what you are willing and not willing to do, and what your goals and dreams are. This massively helps you not to fall into temptation and also you won’t get distracted and lose focus on your journey.  

Our eyes are on the finish line, and we aren’t bothered about going along with hundreds of people or alone. Have you ever come across people with no values? They give up at the first obstacle, they change their minds a million times per day, just because they pretend they are more than they are. We’ll talk about this later. 

2. Ryan Holiday Asks: Who Are You Spending Time With? 

There’s an old saying, “you are who you surround yourself with.” Who are your friends? Which authors do you read? What programmes do you watch? Which teachers or mentors do you listen to? 

These questions can change your life! Just imagine working in an office where everybody moans, groans and complains. That toxic environment will get under your skin sooner or later, so be aware of where you put your time, attention, focus and energy when it comes to so-called “friends”!

3. Is It Within My Control? 

We all love blaming ourselves for things we cannot change. It’s a mental ploy to try and completely absolve ourselves of responsibility. 

As Jordan Peterson said, life is full of pain and suffering. And I completely agreed with that statement, but you cannot just feel sorry for yourself and think about what you would prefer to have happened, it already happened! You can’t change the past, but you can rewrite the future.

You cannot change it, it’s time to move on. So lift your head up, get eyes looking straight ahead, back straight, and pull your shoulders back a bit…now let’s keep going!

Every time something bad happens, ask yourself: Was there something I could do to change the outcome? If yes, then learn from your mistakes and become a bigger person. If not, well…it’s time to move on, you are stronger than any situation. 

4. Are You a Coward or Are You Courageous? 

Varlam Shalamov, a prisoner in a Soviet Gulag said: it’s not about good and evil, it’s about being a coward or not. 95% of cowards are capable of the most horrible things possible. This sounds like the “shadow” concept from Carl Jung, revisited by Jordan Peterson; 

We have a dark side, if we do not accept it and do not learn how to control it, it will take control of us and we will hurt ourselves and the people we care about the most.  

5. Are You Living Your Philosophy? 

To conclude this article, and to summarize, after reading all the above rules let me ask you something. Are you looking for a purpose? Are you trying to become a better man or woman? Or are you just trying to impress the masses? 

This last lesson is a recap of the four before, if you follow them, you will be on the right path – learning and growing every single day, regardless of the outcome. We only need to care about the step by step daily process and progress. Trust the process.

Favorite Quotes by Ryan Holiday

  • “The world might call you a pessimist. Who cares? It’s far better to seem like a downer than to be blindsided or caught off guard.”
  • “Don’t waste a second looking back at your expectations. Face forward, and face it with a smug little grin.”
  • “The great law of nature is that it never stops. There is no end.”
  • “No thank you, I can’t afford to panic.”
  • “No one is asking you to look at the world through rose-coloured glasses.”

I encourage you to ask yourself some of the above questions, it’s hard-but-necessary! Let us know in the comments below which lesson is your favourite and check out Ryan Holiday’s work and his podcast “The Daily Stoic.”

Agustin Cardone

Agustin Cardone, from Argentina, currently lives in Ireland, and studies psychology in Mexico. He fell in love with sports when he started playing rugby at 14, soon becoming team captain. He now lifts weights and practices boxing as a way to release stress. He is highly interested in the relationship between body and mind, and is curious about how the brain works and why people do what they do. He would like to help people with addiction, depression, and personality disorders. He believes we all have a story to tell and that we should express it.

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