Ryan Holiday | 36 thoughts on his 36th birthday

Original link: https://www.camelliayang.com/blog/ryan-holiday-3636


It’s time again to translate and summarize the birthday sentiments of Ryan Holiday , a practitioner of the Stoic philosophy school (Stocism). Ryan seems to have forgotten the existence of age this year, almost forgetting whether he has passed his 36th birthday. As the Stoic philosopher Seneca said, at the end of your life, you should have more fruits to prove the number of years you have lived than just rely on a number. If you love what you do, you will forget the passage of time. Ryan has this feeling when he is concentrating on writing a book: time flies, and the sun and the moon fly by.

In the past year, Ryan worked hard to live a rich and colorful life. He reflected on himself in making mistakes and failures, and summed up his experience in dealing with people. The following are 36 insights from his birthday this year, which are simply compiled and summarized .

1. My wife and I have decided that this year’s theme is “Less Less”, less clutter, less distractions, less screen time, and less commitment. We hope that by doing subtraction for life, we can live more in the moment and gain more peace.

2. In order to achieve the above goals, I have made a difficult decision: to postpone the publication of my next book by a year or so. This is a major adjustment to my schedule, and I finally don’t have to spend hours every day doing research and writing. However, to my surprise, my life hasn’t changed much, because miscellaneous things will always fill up my schedule. After I removed the task of writing, which took up most of my time, it became easier to say yes to other things. When I don’t have the task that requires self-discipline to complete, I even need to spend more energy organizing my life.

3. Doing less is actually harder than doing more.

4. I find that I often do inexplicable things, such as waiting for the shower water to warm up after soaking in the ice water bath before taking a shower, or taking the elevator down the third floor and then going out for a run. Challenging yourself with activities like exercising or taking a cold shower is great, but don’t get so caught up in it that you miss life’s simple, ready-to-face challenges. Small things like these can make a huge difference over the years.

5. A few years ago, I was talking to a financial advisor about my career with uncertainty, you know, the typical artist insecurity. He interrupted me and said, “But have you ever considered, what if things were better?” He was right. I was always worried that my career was going to die, but never thought about the rewards that would come if I continued to improve.

6. Over the years, my business has been growing every year, and the sales of my published books have been growing every year. I’m happy with this growth trend, but I also remind myself that I don’t always have to be content with what I’ve accomplished before.

7. It’s not that assholes never succeed, but you’ll find that being an asshole limits their ability to thrive. The way jerks treat people prevents them from really enjoying what they do.

8. When you take your newborn for your first check-up, the doctor will tell you how your baby compares to other babies. But remember, you are not raising an average child who needs to be average, you are raising your child. Why would you compare your child to anyone else in the first place?

9. I believe I am more patient, more open and more focused than I was a year ago. If you’re not headed in this direction, where else are you going?

10. Physicist John Wheeler famously said that as your island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of ignorance. For me, it means being a perpetual student, and it also means being aware of how limited my knowledge of the world is on my journey through life. The beauty of reading is that it opens doors for you to learn about new worlds. Before I read the memoir of Canadian indie rock band Tegan & Sara this year, how much did I know about gay Canadian teens in the early 90s? But like I said, my mind and my mind are much more open compared to last year.

11. As a public speaker, your agent sets an “appearance fee” for you and makes this offer to anyone who wants to ask you to speak. That fee might be jaw-dropping, considering that not so long ago you were thinking about speaking for free. But you need to recognize and accept your offer, you must understand your own market value, and don’t devalue your self-worth because of any factors, it’s not good for yourself or the market.

12. In May of this year, I had to euthanize my 16 year old dog. I used to complain about having to constantly fix and clean the dog-stained carpets and floors, but these little things became even more trivial with her gone. Do you remember where the new car your parents cherished so dearly is now? It’s probably in a scrapyard somewhere, and yes, that’s where all your cherished items might end up.

13. People like to say that facts are not equal to feelings, and it is true. But I’ve come to realize that what other people feel is reality to them. The irony of those who stress that “facts don’t equal feelings” is that they spend a lot of time trying to convince others to change their feelings… as if that would work. The sooner you understand and empathize with someone else’s feelings (or give up on trying to convince them to change), the sooner you will be able to come to terms with them (or move on with your life).

14. When others criticize your writing or point out problems, their opinions are valuable. Although they may not be able to provide a specific solution, or they may not be your intended audience, you should not deny or ignore their reactions. Instead, you should listen to what they have to say, respect their opinion, and decide how to proceed based on that.

15. All success is a lagging indicator. All good and bad outcomes stem from choices made long ago.

16. A lot of songs you listen to feel like the latest releases, but they may have been around for over 20 years. Great art transcends the constraints of time and age.

17. I recently watched an interesting segment in which Theo Fung said to the host, “There’s nothing better than urinating in a swimming pool while chatting.” The host responded with a smile, “It’s interesting What, it doesn’t even make the top thousand things that make you happy.” The point I’m trying to make is that there are thousands of these tiny, ridiculous, weird moments in life that make you feel so beautiful. Most of these can be done immediately, even for free. If you want to live a happier, more fulfilling life, experience these things.

18. Looking back at the things you were anxious about, arguing about, fighting about, being obsessed with when you were younger, you might laugh out loud because you think how stupid you were at the time. Look at the things you’re worrying about right now, and most of the time your future self will look back at them and feel the same way.

19. A few years ago, I had a falling out with a business partner and we parted ways. As time went on, it became clear that what they were doing was indeed a hoax, and it hurt a lot of people. This reminds me of Seneca’s famous quote, stay true to the path you choose, and don’t be seduced and distracted by those who don’t agree with you.

20. Fifteen years ago, Tyler Cowen first mentioned to me the concept of “quake books”, referring to books that can completely subvert your worldview. I asked him at the time if he had read a similar book recently, and he said, “For me, there is no such book anymore. Although I read a lot and can learn something, I have never experienced an idea earthquake again.” It’s a phenomenon.” At 20, I couldn’t comprehend this. At 36, I finally figured it out.

21. In fact, I noticed this while writing this article. I looked back at last year’s article and found that my perceptions this year and last year are basically similar . Maybe my speed of generating new ideas is slowing down, or from a positive point of view, I am still chewing and digesting past experience and knowledge. As we grow older and wiser, our concepts have basically solidified. The more work I do is to integrate the existing knowledge system and use this as a framework to incorporate more things.

22. Walking won’t solve all your problems, but no problem will be made worse by walking.

23. You won’t notice the growth of hair or the imprints left on your face by the years every day. You can’t really feel many things when you experience them. Only when you analyze them afterwards can you see everything clearly. So be patient and don’t beat yourself up for being stuck. The truth may be the opposite, you just don’t realize it yet.

24. My wife and I have been thinking about our children’s education. Homeschool, or go to private school? Should we move to places with better schools? In any case, there is no perfect solution to everything, and we should not feel anxious and guilty about it, let alone think that other parents will provide everything perfect for their children.

25. Sometimes a lot of current events pop into my head before I’m about to fall asleep: about gay groups, Trump, anti-vaccinators, etc. I began to reflect on the course of American history, from the oligarchs’ grip on power before the Civil War, to the struggle against the social reformers of the Gilded Age, to the resistance to the social safety net during the Great Depression, and the struggle to preserve segregation. Our history is full of dark energies that are opposed to progress and justice, and we should not always be drawn to these dark forces and get lost in the news and current events.

26. Instead of allowing ourselves to become cynical, we must find a way to deal with anger, frustration and disappointment.

27. One truth that never changes: be able to adapt and take advantage of new tools. I don’t know what the long-term impact of artificial intelligence will be, I just know that as an individual, the best way is to use it to improve your own capabilities.

28. After dealing with many elites, I gradually found that no matter what kind of work they do, no matter how much fame or wealth they enjoy, they basically have the same core skills: tenacity, creativity, focus, and cooperation.

29. I had the pleasure of giving a series of lectures last year at the Stockdale Center at the US Naval Academy. Some right-wing critics claim that the armed forces have become “woke”, but I observed a very diverse crowd in the audience. Now is the first time we can truly diversify without conforming to the old white male rules.

30. Speaking of the Stockdale Center, I have to mention Stockdale. During his imprisonment in Hanoi, he would debate Marxism for a long time with his captors, and he always won the debate. why? Because he actually read Marx. During his time at Stanford, he took a course on proto-communist literature. Most of the captors had only been exposed to second-hand and third-hand communist propaganda. You develop great people by delivering information to people rather than hiding or embellishing it.

31. The secret to parenting/living/negotiating is to remember that the main goal of every conversation is to prepare for the next one. You never want to act in a self-destructive way, to say words that will end everything.

32. A few days ago, when we got off the plane, my oldest son was a little mischievous. I asked him what was wrong. My younger son looked up and said, “Clarkey is tired, he’s having trouble controlling himself.” A few days later, we were sitting in the car and my younger son was very angry and yelling. I asked him what was wrong, and my older son said, “I think Jonesy is being stimulated too much.” I wish I could be like my kids who are mindful of each other, aware of their own and other people’s conditions, and able to explain others’. Behavioral motivation.

33. Sometime this year, I was a little sad looking at the abandoned cribs and toys that the children played with when they were young, but the truth is that I shouldn’t be so sentimental, because these things have left me with fond memories. What people should really feel bad about is that these old items don’t bring back good memories, which means you didn’t pay enough attention when using them.

34. Few of the smart people I know watch the news. If I see a TV with the news in an airport or waiting room, I’ll wait somewhere else.

35. Speaking of waiting rooms, what I can’t understand is why people would build such tight little places where all the patients wait. Earlier this year, when I politely told the emergency care receptionist that I was going to wait outside on a bench (because it was a beautiful day outside), she looked at me like I was a monster.

36. My team is working on a course on money management for Everyday Stoics, and when I create a marketing plan, I don’t want to include anything that looks like a scam or sales pitch, and I certainly don’t want to put Stoicism is portrayed as a get-rich-quick kind of thing. But do you know what happened? People still accuse me of doing stuff like this… At the same time, because I was too careful not to offend, I found that my marketing scheme didn’t attract some of the people who would have bought the course. Every time I changed a decision because I was worried that someone who didn’t like me would be offended, I was punished and regretted it.

Finally, I chose to end with a quote from the Stoic philosopher Seneca mentioned above, “Our greatest mistake is to think that we expect death to come; Death.” Indeed. We die every day because the past will never come back. So, every year on my birthday I think about this question: how many years did I just live/die? Am I doing well? Am I truly present in the moment as I live my life?

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