Ryan Holiday | 35 Lessons Learned at 35

Original link: https://www.camelliayang.com/blog/ryan-holiday-35-cn

Holiday celebrates his 35th birthday this month. I have summarized many of his articles and his annual birthday reflections before (with a summary at the end). Today, I will compile his latest release of “35 Lessons Learned at 35 Years Old 35” Lessons on the Way to 35 Years Old .


​I am 35 years old today. This felt very strange to me, because I vividly remember writing the first version of the “Birthday Inspirations Series” on the eve of my 25th birthday, just before the release of my first book.

That’s the nature of life, how short a long time feels as you get older, as in Hemingway’s famous line, “Slowly and then all at once.” So, as I enter the second half of my thirties, I am writing this to reflect on what I have learned.

In the last ten years, I’ve written more than 10 books, got married, had two kids, bought a house, owned a farm, and then bought a 140-year-old building and opened up in it a bookstore. I’ve traveled all over the world, read a lot, made a lot of mistakes ( as I said last year ), seen shit like a global pandemic, and learned a few things (though not nearly enough).

As usual, that’s what I want to talk about in this annual article, including the rules, lessons, insights, trivia I’ve learned over the past 35 years. You may agree with some of the content, but find others completely incomprehensible or even wrong, it doesn’t matter, this is my article, the interpretation is up to you .

– Don’t compare yourself to others. You never know who’s on steroids, who’s drowning in debt, and who’s a big liar.

– I have a sign on the side of the trail where I run in Austin that the guy who paid to build the trail put it there. It reads: “Leave This Place Better Than You Found It”. For me, that’s what life is all about, big and small (but mostly small).

– I’ve always been amazed that even the most famous and powerful people still like to hear compliments about their recent TV appearances, accomplishments, or work projects. I don’t mean to say “celebrities are ordinary people,” but if compliments resonate on their level, what do you think it means to your children, co-workers, employees, siblings, and friends?

– You don’t need to explain yourself. One Sandra Day O’Connor clerk said what she admired most about the Supreme Court justice was that she never said “sorry” before saying “no.” If she can’t or doesn’t want to do something, she’ll say “no.” Therefore, you should also set boundaries for yourself and choose to simply say no. You can explain to friends and family that they need to find a hotel instead of staying at your house. You can choose the lifestyle you feel most comfortable with without having to explain it to others or apologize for it.

– You don’t have to go anywhere and you don’t have to do anything. All stress is made up by the brain.

– On your deathbed, you’ll pay anything for another normal night, one more drop off to school, one more juicy peach, one more hour on a park bench. However, we allow these seemingly trivial things to be fleeting in our lives, or complain, or complain, or focus on the future, instead of living in the present. You can’t add more at the end of your life, and you can’t waste what’s in front of you right now.

– The older you get, the harder it is to see how outrageous, even completely crazy, things you once accepted as completely normal were. You’ll notice a trend when you have kids, and people will proudly explain to you the crazy, dangerous, or cruel things they’ve done to kids in the past, “I used to let kids…”. It is important to fight back against this and not let cognitive dissonance prevent you from enjoying a better, safer and different present and future.

– When it comes to changes with age, I especially hate the saying, “If you weren’t a liberal when you were young, you didn’t have a heart, and if you weren’t a conservative when you were old, you didn’t have a brain.” Let’s put the political side of the phrase aside for now, the implication being that as you get older, you should stop listening to your heart. It’s the exact opposite of what you want in life. Our goal should be to become more kind and compassionate as we age.

– Drink more water. You probably aren’t drinking enough water, and trust me, drinking more water will make you feel better.

– The same goes for a walk. Walking improves almost everything.

– One of my all-time favorite novels is “What Makes Sammy Run?” After spending the entire novel hoping that the protagonist “gets the punishment”, the author Schulberg finally realized that what made the protagonist Sammy Run? The real punishment is that he has to be Sammy. Sammy lives in an environment full of constraints, but what really binds him is his head, his thinking about life. Retribution does not come in the form of some sudden event, but, as Schulberg puts it, in the subtle and covert everyday life.

– As a proud college dropout, I would say the current “anti-elite movement” is absurd and stupid. Everyone and everything I admire is a portrait of the elite. I love the way Stephen Curry shoots, the way Robert Carrow writes, and what the SEALs can do. Now we celebrate the average person and their mediocre view of things that makes everything worse than average.

– Extend the timeline. My bookstore, The Painted Porch, opened a year later due to the global pandemic. This obeys Hofstadter’s Law : Even if you take into account Hofstadter’s Law, the actual completion time of a project is always longer than expected.

– I came to believe that there is a dark energy in humanity: some combination of fear, evil, ignorance, cruelty, mob. This dark energy is always with us. It was there when people burned witches; it was there when people used dogs to attack protesters who wanted the right to vote. It’s there to yell at gays and tell women to go back to the kitchen. This energy can be blocked, but never defeated. It pools together like water and looks for the next outlet. As we face every political and social issue, ask ourselves if we have been corrupted by this dark energy or have given ourselves over to it.

– If you can’t get out of a deal, then it probably wasn’t a deal in the first place.

Seneca of the Stoics said, “I am happy to pay the taxes of my life”. He doesn’t just mean paying taxes to the government. Annoying neighbors are a tax on buying a house; traffic delays are a tax on travel; negative reviews and haters are a tax on owning a YouTube channel. If you become famous, people will make up rumors about you; if you do charity work, people will question your intentions and motives; if you have children, you will lose sleep… Everything in life has a tax, and you can pay attention to it Grumpy, or as Seneca puts it, happily pay your living taxes and move on.

– My kids nap a lot in the car, usually an hour or so. I always notice the speedometer while they sleep and drive and think, why am I driving so fast? Now that I have nowhere to go, the whole point of driving is to wait… but why am I still thinking about being in a hurry?

– What if we don’t need to break records or get to the next level? What if life was all about getting things done, being a good parent, a good spouse, and a good person?

– A year or two ago, I decided to stop all advertising related to my business and use the money to create video and article content. The reason I do this is that the money spent on advertising is basically not having any positive impact on the world, but articles and videos can at least be enjoyed by people, even if they don’t have the same ROI as advertising. In the long run, this content will always be around and have a bigger and more meaningful impact. Given the size of my business, it’s just a small decision, but if people are willing to spend more time maximizing the positive externalities of what they do rather than optimizing for short-term profits, I think they Be happier and do better.

– I have a painting on my desk that Hugh McLeod gave me. It reads: “I take him/her/it for granted like a jerk”.

– I have realized over the past few years that good leadership and good ideas fail without good communication, and bad leadership and hateful ideas can succeed with good communication. It’s not enough to have good things and good ideas right, you have to learn how to sell them.

– Despair and cynicism only contribute to problems. Hope, integrity, and belief in oneself are qualities that drive change, even as mainstream narratives denigrate these qualities.

– Modern life is full of hardships. From science and technology to the unwritten rules of realizing a civilized society, a person is swallowed by a large amount of information from the moment he wakes up, and he also needs to improve his emotional acuity to cope with daily communication. When you understand this, most people do not have the ability to live, which explains the behavior of many people. This will help you be more patient when dealing with people.

– When Seneca said that poverty is not about having too little, but wanting more, he is not talking about the poor, but the rich. This made me realize something: Achieving wealth is not a matter of thinking about money as often. Sadly, many rich people actually live very poor.

– American singer Bruce Springsteen has a lot of great lyrics, but the one that got me thinking the most was the following:

We fought hard over nothing
We fought ’til nothing remained
I’ve carried that nothing for a long time

– One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from a successful writing career is that everything starts out in an uncertain mess, even making you despair that it’s never going to end well. During a low ebb when I was writing my last book, I found a note I once wrote that said, “Write a note and the book will do.” Everything in life is like this, and going through the process will get you there. The more you believe in this and keep practicing the process, the easier it will be for you to trust the process.

– We tend to think that “arrogance” is a millionaire or billionaire ailment, something that plagues successful people. In fact, it does the most damage to promising people, early-stage teams, and projects.

– When I was reading recently, I could feel the thought in my head of blaming themselves for the problems the characters faced in the book. I reflected on the reasons for doing this, and if it was their fault, then I don’t really have to care. I don’t need to do anything, and I don’t need to change any beliefs. I think it’s this kind of thinking that explains a lot of what’s going on in the world today. You have to fight this thought in your head, to find reasons not to care, it’s the magic of fighting the devil.

– Outsource the problem if you can afford it; automate it if you can’t. Time is our most precious resource.

– The best coaches and leaders are not those who only succeed on the court or in the boardroom. Truly great people are judged by what they have influenced and inspired others to do.

– Most people would rather argue for reality than do something about it.

– When I get emails and comments from people who get angry at my political rhetoric, I sometimes remind them that I don’t build an audience by telling people what they want to hear, I attract by expressing myself followers. Also, if you are censoring your speech out of fear that you will pay the price, you are not really successful.

Peter Thiel is known as the “Contrarian.” He once told me that being a contrarian is a bad way. You can’t just turn other people’s ideas and practices upside down, the key is to think for yourself. If you find yourself constantly opposing everyone and everything, it may be a sign that you’re not doing much thinking and are just superficially turning things upside down.

– Everyone has a pattern of behavior and has an ego. Following trends is someone else’s job, not yours, am I right?

To end with Seneca’s saying, the past is like death. I’m not one step closer to death, I’ve been dead for another year. So every year, every month, every day, every minute to ask myself a question, when I am in it, am I really living in it?

Ryan Holiday Content Collection

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