Stillness is the Key | Ryan Holiday

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2019: Book #26

“Each of us will, in our own lives, face crisis. The stakes matter to us. A business on the brink of collapse. An acrimonious divorce. A decision about the future of our career. A moment where the whole game depends on us. These situations will call upon all our mental resources. An emotional, reactive response – an unthinking, half-baked response – will not cut it. Not if we want to get it right. Not if we want to perform at our best.”

“Being present demands all of us. It’s not nothing. It may be the hardest thing in the world.”

“The important stuff will still be important by the time you get to it.”

“All this noise. All this information. All these inputs. We are afraid of the silence. We are afraid of looking stupid. We are afraid of missing out. We are afraid of being the bad guy who says, “Nope, not interested.”

“We have to get better at thinking, deliberately and intentionally, about the big questions. On the complicated things. On understanding what’s really going on with a person, or a situation or with life itself.”

“Too much of our lives is defined by noise.”

I could go on quoting Ryan Holiday but I’ll stop there. His new book, Stillness is the Key is nothing short of excellent. His point: learning to quiet the mind. To simply be.

Ditch the phone. Don’t be so attached to social media. Be okay with being alone with your thoughts. We distract ourselves because we’re afraid of what we’d find if we think for too long. But thinking is what we need.

Every leader should read this book. Heck, every person should have to read it.

One caution though…Holiday is not a believer. He’s an atheist. He’s adopted stoicism as the philosophy for his life. As you read the book, you’ll notice he believes that this life is all there is. The final chapter is very chilling. He speaks of preparing to die.

It isn’t enough to just live well. We must die well.

Great book. Fantastic, even!

It’s earned 5 out of 5 stars from me.

That’s book #26 for 2019.
26 more to go

Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.
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