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Stillness is the Key
Ryan Holiday
October 2019
283 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525538585

Author Ryan Holiday, a media maven, posited that what made the iconic thinkers throughout history great was the so-called “stillness” (stoic) quality. This sense of calm allowed them to focus on each moment with depth, which was instrumental for success. In this book, Holiday provides a glimpse into the inner workings of such individuals and how you can emulate them.


Such stillness isn’t an esoteric state. Instead, anyone who trains their mind, spirit, and body to be in alignment with inner peace and calm could attain it.

Three steps toward stillness are: temper the mind, tend the state of the soul, and support the body’s health and fitness. Once you have these three elements optimised, you can expect to live a rich, healthy, and successful life.

1. To temper the mind, you’d need to cultivate these habits: be here and now, take time to think, know when to empty your mind, keep learning, and develop confidence, not ego.

2. To nourish the soul, make these habits yours: strive for virtue, care for the child within (it’s a psychological method to care for the abused child inside whose patterns we’ve been carrying throughout the years), tame troubling emotions, surround with beauty, and surrender to the “higher power” (whether you’re a believer or a non-believer, so the “higher power” could be a god, universal principles, or science).

3. To maintain optimized physical health, develop these habits: sometimes the best action is no action, walk, follow a routine, minimalize materialistic possessions, find time to be alone, get enough restful sleep, and move your body for a good cause.