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Ryan Holiday Author of The Ego Is The Enemy and Thoughts on Practical Stoicism  – Episode #62

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Ryan Holiday is a prolific author who’s become notable as being a clear thinking person in a disruptive age. This conversation digs into the philosophy behind much of what Ryan believes and writes about – Stoicism. Anthony digs into Ryan’s first exposure to the philosophy, why it’s so appealing to him, and how it’s benefitted his life. But they go beyond that to the topics of Ego, building space into life, and the struggle each of us has to feel significant about our lives. It’s a packed conversation that takes many twists and turns, so set aside time to listen.

The Ego is the Enemy author, Ryan Holiday on this episode of In The ArenaClick To Tweet

Accepting life as it is, not as you wish it was.

Ryan Holiday summarizes the Stoic way of thinking by saying this: “Things are how they are. Your job is to learn how to live with that.” But that doesn’t mean you should resort to being a couch potato who lets the world pass you by. You have the power to take initiative and make a difference in the world, and must for the good of the world. Ryan unpacks a lot of gems in this conversation, including the 3 main sections of his new book, “Ego is The Enemy.” You’ll want to hear this one.

How can a person quiet their ego, and why would you want to?

Much of what Ryan Holiday believes comes from the Stoic tradition and the stoics believed that the ego (pride in self) is a destructive force when it is allowed to rule a person’s life. It’s important to ensure that the ego stays in check, that its voice is not allowed to be dominant. Anthony asks Ryan a very pointed question in this conversation, “How can a person quiet their ego?” Ryan takes his best shot at answering it and adds a lot more value in addition, on this episode of In The Arena.

How can you quiet your ego to accomplish more? Ryan Holiday answers on this episodeClick To Tweet

The benefits of making space in life.

We seem to intuitively know that our bodies need a rest. Most people don’t workout every day – they take a break to give their muscles time to recover. Most people take vacations now and then, at least for a long weekend. But we live in a culture that has failed to realize that in the same way the body needs a break, the mind needs some down time now and then as well. Ryan Holiday gives some suggestions for how modern people who have much to accomplish can be sure to create space in their lives, for a healthier and more productive existence.

Grab a copy of Ryan’s new book, “Ego is the Enemy.”

In “Ego Is the Enemy” Ryan Holiday draws from many stories and examples, stories of people who reached the highest levels of power and success by con­quering their own egos. In an era that glorifies social media, reality TV, and other forms of shameless self-promotion, the battle against ego must be fought on many fronts. Armed with the lessons in this book you will be less invested in the story you tell about your own specialness, and as a result, you will be liberated to accomplish the world-changing work you’ve set out to achieve. That’s Ryan’s promise from the book – and you can find out how to get it on this episode.

If you respond to something immediately, you’ll immediately regret that response ~ Ryan HolidayClick To Tweet

Outline of this great episode

  • [2:37] Anthony’s introduction of Ryan Holiday.
  • [4:07] What is Stoicism? Why did Ryan get into it?
  • [9:25] The pain of writing a book and how Ryan gets through it.
  • [13:50] The challenges and benefits of having a personal philosophy.
  • [18:06] How is Stoicism different and similar to the practice of Zen Buddhism?
  • [20:43] What does the practice of Stoicism look like for a modern person?
  • [26:01] Practical applications of Stoicism.
  • [27:08] Why is it so difficult to recognize how much our ego is involved?
  • [32:06] What is behind our need for significance or importance?
  • [34:00] The 3 major sections of Ryan’s book, “Ego is the Enemy.”
  • [40:13] How can a person quiet their ego?
  • [43:59] The benefits of making space in life.
  • [47:20] What Ryan is reading now.
  • [49:20] The most important book Ryan has ever read.
  • [50:58] The people who have had the biggest impact on Ryan.
  • [52:33] The most important advice Ryan has received.
  • [54:46] What Ryan feels he would do if he weren’t writing and speaking.
  • [57:02] What Ryan hopes to be remembered for.

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Things are how they are. Your job is to learn how to live with that ~ Ryan HolidayClick To Tweet
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