Ryan Holiday: The Art of Self-Discipline


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Ryan Holiday is the author of numerous New York Times best-selling books and one of the most philosophical people of this generation. He is often described as a modern stoic and has re-popularized the concept of stoicism in today’s society.

Today on the show, we're digging into the topic of Ryan's newest book, Discipline is Destiny.

When we hear the word discipline, we often picture military-like structure and extreme commitment to a task. But don’t confuse the idea of discipline with the concept of being completely consumed by your art. Discipline is not about being hyper-focused; it is about keeping a balance. True discipline is a wholistic concept that stretches across every area of our lives: from our creative process to our physical health, our relationships and our emotional well-being.

There are also different forms of discipline, some that come from the self and others that rely on those around us. My wife has been one of the most valuable key players in my discipline, by holding me accountable to keeping a balance in my life. Without her reminders, it would be easy for me to neglect other areas of my life that I need to keep healthy. We need both. The internal motivators for discipline as well as the external.

The key is to dig down to your core and find what truly motivates you. What is the “why” to what you are doing with your life, with your art? Once you’ve established the key motivators for you, the structures of “what” you need to do to reach your goals have that much more strength behind them. The “how” you will do it comes down to discipline. How are the things that motivate you going to keep you disciplined to do what you need to do? And who are the people around you that will hold you accountable beyond yourself? It could be your editors, publishers, partner, parents or colleagues. True discipline comes both from the inside and the outside. It is a discipline of both time and boundaries.


Highlights from the Show:

[00:00] Intro

[07:12] Trust me, I’m lying

[15:01] Conspiracy

[19:39] Success and fulfilment

[24:58] Discipline

[29:29] Self-consciousness

[42:47] Time, a non-renewable resource

[46:49] Time and boundaries

[52:46] The four virtues

[58:27] Be suspicious of shortcuts in life and in art

[1:10:17] Where to follow Ryan

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