Stillness is the Key: An Ancient Strategy for Modern Life
Throughout history, there's been one indelible quality that great leaders, makers, artists and fighters have shared. The Zen Buddhists described it as inner peace, the Stoics called it ataraxia and Ryan Holiday calls it stillness: the ability to be steady, focussed and calm in a constantly busy world.
This quality, valued by every major school of thought from Buddha to...more
I will be honest and say that there’s nothing particularly new in “Stillness is the Key”, but how many new books with new ideas are there ...more
Maybe it’s because I’ve read enough books on mindfulness and stillness. Maybe it’s because he seems to waste a chapter misunderstanding modern skeptics and materialism and arguing for needing to believe in God to be able to be still (despite there being a large incarnation of secular, materialist, Buddhism fuelling a good chunk of western meditative practice ). Maybe it’s because this book never hooked me enough despite me expecting it to.
Do people need sleep? Yes. ...more
1. What was Stillness is the Key About?
2. Should you read the book?
3. And why I read the book and the value I got from it.
We are overfed and undernourished. Overstimulated, overscheduled, and lonely.
That is a quote from the opening monologue of the book. And one I think is a good summation of what it feels like to live in our current society.
1. What is the book about?
Ryan's clear and articulate way of zooming in on various key concepts from Stoicism, Buddhism, and other religions or philosophical movements is incredibly helpful. His writing and emphasis on fundamental principles triggers deep introspection and a keen desire to become a better human being.
Through well-chosen, balanced examples he shines a light on both behaviours worthy of our respect and that we should use as ...more
Stillness sounded like a great topic for a book, but whereas Ego is the Enemy was laser-focused, this seemed like a grab-bag of things. Sleep more, say no to stuff, try journaling, take care of your relationships, etc. They were also so rapid-fire that none of the sections felt particularly meaningful. Some only felt tangentially ...more
Through my own reading ...more
“Chop trees, carry water”
I don't want it to sound accusatory ;> in fact I believe these books can help many people - I follow the stoic doctrine myself, so I can personally vouch for it and its beneficial impact on one's life. But you should have very clear expectations - this book does not bring anything new to the table. It's still ol' good stoicism, with classic figures as role models - its main role is not informative (unless it's the ...more
Ryan’s book is about stillness. When I read his work, I become still. Nothing changed for this read.
Ryan offers great advice triangulated by the foundation of “Mind, Soul, and Body”. The examples are rich with insight and stories that are deeply fascinating. From John F. Kennedy to Anne Frank to Winston Churchill. I know ...more
This is another fantastic book by Ryan Holiday. I always feel like it is the truth I need to hear when reading Ryan Holiday's books. This book is around how cultivating Stillness can lead to happier, successful and more meaningful life. But it really is about being a good person.
Clear. Calm. Kind. Still.
The mental. The spiritual. The physical.
Packed with ton of examples and ...more
Everything is based on (interesting) stories about famous people. But this of course is far away from a statistical study. He doesn't look at people who walk a lot and are not successful.
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John Lawchamp’s Review:
First read of Ryan Holiday's. I enjoyed his book very much for so many reasons. This book explores the world of being present and taking advantage of the small moments in which you are not bothered by technology, but ...more
In this book, he writes about the need for quiet time and reflection, and how important it is in order to be happy and productive. One thing I really liked about this book was how he also gives examples from other schools of thought on the topic of stillness, such as Buddhism and ...more
Holiday combines the wisdom of long-gone philosophers (Seneca, Epicurus, Aurelius) and applies it today’s generation of politicians, sports heroes and those of us trying to clear a path for a positive life. Holiday invites us to think about our lives and reflect on the three parts of our being (spirit, mind, and body) and how we can use stillness to more ...more
This is a book that will help you tune out the noise in the world. Especially valuable nowadays where the wealth of information we have available is creating a poverty of attention.
Flow: 5/5; took me a couple of weeks because I was reading several books at the same time but this could easily be read in a couple of days
Actionability: 5/5; this is ...more