Ryan Holiday, a ‘modern-day’ philosopher, explains how ancient stoicism has helped established ethics, self-control, and emotional stability in society. His impressive theory on stoicism embraces principles that can be used in our daily lives.
Ryan Holiday is an American author, a modern stoic, public relations strategist, and The Painted Porch Bookshop podcast host. His theories are well-respected on stoicism, and he is known as the “world’s best-selling living philosopher”. Read on to discover Ryan Holiday: Top 5 Lessons We Can Learn from Him!
1. Start Harder Routines First
Stoicism is an ancient philosophy dating back to the early Greek and Roman era. The old philosophy incorporates the ethical values of wisdom, justice, and courage and promotes honesty, equality, and fair dealing. Ryan Holiday discusses in his interview with Ed Mylett that we do not avoid pain “by being lazy”. But instead, we adopt ‘mindsets’ that allow us to believe we are making life easier for ourselves.
However, doing strenuous tasks encourages the mind to become stronger. As the ancient Greeks and Romans faced ‘hardships’ in their lifestyles, their philosophies believed that more challenging routines tested “courage, discipline, justice and wisdom”.
As the stoic philosophies encouraged self-discipline, they taught people how to apply discipline during strenuous tasks. In modern times, it is easy to become distracted, and stoic theories are valuable on this issue. Ryan addresses morning routines as a significant time to invest in the values that are most important to us. This encourages us to feel the “strength” of our daily routines.
2. How Discipline Ends Compulsive Behaviors
Our temptations exist as a flaw in our human evolution. However, Ryan Holiday respects people’s opinions to avoid temptation, such as dietary restrictions. According to Ryan, avoiding temptation is a transferable skill that we can apply to other life experiences.
As individuals access their disciplined thoughts, it shows them they can avoid toxic habits or situations. Individuals should aim to develop ‘muscles’ of self-discipline to avoid any bad habits.
Developing a disciplined strength to overcome harmful habits helps our mental states improve. The strongest people can still “give in” to temptations, which makes it critical to develop the ‘inner strength’ to avoid these situations.
Simple impulses can still lead to destructive habits if left untreated. Cultivating the ability to decide when these habits stop is crucial for treating erratic or whimsical impulses. Worry without control can lead to destructive behaviors, while harmful practices such as drugs can become very significant concerns very quickly.
3. The Strength of Silence
While we may freely participate in ‘silence’, it is often overlooked as an activity. We tend to live in a world consumed with distractions, and we avoid silence due to the ‘noise’ controlling us.
If we get up early and avoid checking our emails or looking at social media, we can prevent clutter that can fill our minds. By waking and enjoying the moments of silence, we can fill our minds with the strength of silence. We could carry that superior strength with us throughout the day and experience its grounding effect during waking hours.
4. Self-Examination Needs to be an Active Practice
As we learn to examine our lives, we can see if we are living the lifestyle we want. If people do not review their lives, they may start creating a lifestyle like other lives around them without realizing it. As you practice questioning yourself and reviewing your life, it will be more possible to shift toward the lifestyle you want.
When people continue to actively review their life, it becomes easier to create lifestyle changes. Reviewing and examining your lifestyle improves the overall direction of set goals. Talking to counselors, life coaches, or friends may be enough for you to check your circumstances. If no review takes place, a pattern may form in our minds based on our surroundings or previous mindsets.
Values are important to consider when reviewing your life, as we can then see if we are investing time in our own lives or following other people’s lifestyles unconsciously.
5. Learn to Release Controlling Thoughts
If we don’t journal or try to track our thoughts, we begin to lead a familiar, unconscious, automatic pattern in our lives. It’ll then be a major challenge to exert self-discipline. Yet a main factor of self-discipline is learning to release any negative control which hinders our abilities.
As we learn to let go of controlling situations, we can delegate some of these responsibilities to other individuals. Some people may be better leaders or negotiators than us, and we can benefit from removing our control over these positions.
If we continue trying to control the situations that may not be suited for us, we can start to display insecurities.
While individuals exist with various strengths, abilities, and interests, it may be better for us to share responsibilities with others. We can be afraid of ‘letting go’ of our power, but we should determine if we are operating out of our fears.
As Ryan Holiday describes stoicism as ethical principles based on values, can you think of ways ‘stoicism’ may help you? Ryan Holiday has developed theories from stoicism, how relevant do you find his philosophies in your life?
Perhaps stoicism is still a useful tool we can apply daily. Its ancient philosophies aim to inspire us to rethink and reorganize our lifestyles, despite its ancient wisdom-based context. Which insights and tips above do you resonate with best? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!