Exclusive Extract: from the inspirational Discipline is Destiny by Ryan Holiday

Discipline is Destiny is the latest book by author Ryan Holiday. It’s an inspirational and interesting read that could change your life for the better.

Ryan is the world’s best-selling living philosopher, sharing the wisdom of ancient Stoicism to help us navigate 21st-century life. He has sold more than 5 million books in 40 languages. With insights that are as relevant to the boardroom as to everyday life, Ryan’s books have proved hugely influential with sports coaches, business leaders, aspiring and established entrepreneurs, and self-help and smart thinking readers.

Ryan follows an ancient school of thought but has a huge digital following: his Daily Stoic brand has 400k subscribers to its daily email. In 2019 his Instagram had 350K followers, now it has 1.5 million; its YouTube channel has over 585K subscribers and its TikTok account has 341.1k followers and over 10 million views. Since starting The Daily Dad in June 2019, Ryan has amassed 12.9k followers on the

Daily Dad Twitter channel and 82.8k followers on the Daily Dad Instagram platform, and the email newsletter reaches over 50k people.

In Discipline is Destiny bestselling philosopher and life-hacker extraordinaire Ryan Holiday explores the power of temperance, which along with courage, justice and wisdom formed the four virtues of Stoicism. Yet these other virtues would be impossible, worthless even, without self-discipline to bring them about.

Self-discipline is the moderating influence against the impulse of all other things. Cultivate it in every deed, and it will enable us to become the best that we are capable of being. With self-discipline, we can find balance, focus and fulfilment, resisting the distractions that can quickly take over our lives; without self-discipline, all our plans fall apart.

In this latest book, Ryan shows us how to cultivate willpower, moderation and self-control in our lives. From Aristotle and Marcus Aurelius to Toni Morrison he illuminates the great exemplars of its practice and what we can learn from them. Moderation is not about abstinence: it is about self-respect, focus and balance. Without it, even the most positive traits become vices. But with it, happiness and success are assured: the key is not more but finding the right amount.

Would you have a great empire? Rule over yourself.
Publilius Syrus
We live in times of plenty and freedom that would have
been unfathomable to even our most recent ancestors.
An ordinary person in a developed nation has at their disposal luxuries and opportunities that all-powerful kings were
once impotent to acquire. We are warm in the winter, cool in the
summer, stuffed full far more often than hungry. We can go
where we want. Do what we want. Believe what we want. With
the snap of our fingers, pleasures and distractions appear.
Bored where you are? Travel.
Hate your job? Change it.
Crave it? Have it.
Think it? Say it.
Want it? Buy it.
Dream it? Chase it.

Nearly anything you want, whenever you want it, however
you’d like it, it’s yours.
This is our human right. As it should be.
And yet . . . what do we have to show for all this? Certainly
not widespread flourishing. Empowered, unshackled, blessed
beyond expectation—why are we so damn unhappy?
Because we mistake liberty for license. Freedom, as Eisenhower famously said, must be seen as the “opportunity for self-discipline
.” Unless we’d rather be adrift, vulnerable, disordered,
disconnected, we are responsible for ourselves. Technology, access, success, power, privilege—this is only a blessing when
accompanied by the second of the cardinal virtues: self-restraint.
From Aristotle to Heraclitus, St. Thomas Aquinas to the Stoics, from The Iliad to the Bible, in Buddhism, in Confucianism,
in Islam—the ancients had many words and many symbols for
what amounts to a timeless law of the universe: We must keep
ourselves in check or risk ruin. Or imbalance. Or dysfunction.
Or dependency.
Of course, not everyone’s problems are a result of plenty, but
everyone benefits from self-discipline and self-control. Life is
not fair. Gifts are not handed out evenly. And the reality of this
inequity is that those of us coming from a disadvantage have to
be even more disciplined to have a chance. They have to work
harder, they have less room for error. Even those with fewer freedoms still face countless daily choices about which urges to indulge, what actions they’ll take, what they’ll accept or demand
from themselves.
In this sense, we’re all in the same boat: The fortunate as well as
the unfortunate must figure out how to manage their emotions,
abstain from what should be abstained from, what standards to
observe. We must master ourselves unless we’d prefer to be
mastered by someone or something else.
We can say that each of us has a higher and lower self, and
that these two selves are in a constant battle with each other. The
can versus the should. What we can get away with, and what’s
best. The side that can focus, and the side that is easily distracted.
The side that strives and reaches, the side that stoops and compromises. The side that seeks balance, the side that loves chaos
and excess.
The word for this inner battle to the ancients was akrasia, but
it’s really that same Herculean crossroads once again.
What will we choose?
What side will win?
Who will you be?

You can get a copy here!

About Author

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading