Preview of tomorrow’s Digest: “Fading Rose” by Silverback J (Mendocino Bonobos), one of the most popular contributors in The Jungle!
[What do you call a Silverback who is too young to have grey hair? A Silverbuck. (counterpart is a Silverbabe). Ryan Holiday is a Silverbuck who seems to have accomplished way too much in his young life. Wait until he is old and grizzled like the rest of us. SB SM]
I am Ryan Holiday and I am a writer and media strategist. When I was 19 years old, I dropped out of college to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power. I had a successful marketing career at American Apparel and went on to found a creative agency called Brass Check, which has advised clients like Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as many prominent bestselling authors, including Neil Strauss, Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss. I am the author of ten books, including The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic, Conspiracy and Stillness is the Key which have sold more than 2 million copies in thirty languages and have a following among NFL coaches, world-class athletes, TV personalities, political leaders, and others around the world. I spend much of my time on a ranch outside Austin, Texas where I do my writing and work in between raising cattle, donkeys and goats.
Here are 100 rules that have helped me live better based on my own experience, the advice I’ve been given and the things I’ve studied. Your mileage may vary, but hopefully some of these will help you in your own pursuit of living a good life. And in case you want to read further on any of the rules, I linked to where I’ve written about them in depth.
1. Wake up early.
3. Forget about outcomes—focus on making a little progress every day.
4. Say no (a lot).
7. Comparison = unhappiness
9. Strenuous exercise every single day.
10. Character is fate.
11. Practice the law of action, not attraction.
12. Get up when you fall/fail.
13. Prove your philosophy more than you talk about it (and that’s not easy).
15. It’s not about routine but about practices.
16. Follow the canvas strategy.
17. Do a kindness each day.
18. Every situation has two handles—choose to grab the “smooth handle.”
20. Pick up trash when you see it.
21. If you want to be good and feel good, you have to do good. There is no escaping this.
22. Deliberately think about death. Every day, multiple times a day.
23. “Trust the process.”
24. Do your job—whatever it is—well, because how you do anything is how you do everything.
25. Always choose “Alive Time.”
26. What’s a book that changed your life? is a question you can ask to change your life… if you read the books.
27. Forget “quality time”; embrace garbage time.
28. Do the verb, rather than being the noun.
29. Take walks.
30. The present is enough.
31. Fuel the habit bonfire.
32. Have a philosophy.
33. Don’t just read—you must read to lead.
34. Collect little sayings about how to live (keep a commonplace book).
35. Stop looking for shortcuts. Do the work.
36. Build an Inner Citadel.
37. Let it go—those who wrong you wrong themselves.
38. Spend time with old people.
39. When evaluating an opportunity, ask yourself: What will teach me the most?
40. Purpose, not passion. (One is about you, the other about something bigger than you.)
41. Have kids. (Being a parent is your most important job).
42. Read biographies—the best way to study the lives of the greats.
43. Don’t try to beat other people, try to be the only one doing what you’re doing (“Competition is for losers”).
44. Know why you do what you do.
45. Be strict with yourself and forgiving of others.
46. Don’t post pictures of your kids on social—they are not props for validation.
47. Practice the art of negative visualization.
48. Cut toxic people out of your life—life is too short.
49. Before starting any project, have a “draw-down period.”
50. “If you’ve been blessed, be a blessing.”
51. Don’t wait until later, do the thing now.
52. No day without some deep work.
53. Put yourself up for review (Interrogate yourself).
54. Ask yourself: How does this action I’m about to take affect other people?
55. Don’t take the money (see “success = autonomy”).
56. Always stay a student.
57. Break things down to see what they really are.
58. “If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.” — Nassim Taleb
59. Undersell and overdeliver.
60. You must tame your temper.
61. Never recline your seat on an airplane. (See also: “How do my actions affect others?”)
62. Belief in yourself is overrated. Generate evidence.
63. Never check the price on a book. Just buy it if you think you’ll read it.
64. Good things happen in bookstores.
65. See what you can learn from every person you meet—even people you don’t like.
66. Set a bedtime.
67. A successful marriage is worth more than a successful career.
68. “Go straight to the seat of intelligence.” — Marcus Aurelius
69. Human being, not human doing.
70. Amor fati.
71. Go the f*ck to sleep.
72. “Always say less than necessary.” — Robert Greene
73. Never take a phone call sitting down. Go outside and go for a walk.
74. Champion other people’s work (see my reading list email)
75. Make commitments—short, regular deadlines that you have to meet.
77. “Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those who you are capable of improving.” — Seneca
78. See the beauty in the mundane.
79. Print out good advice and put it right in front of your desk, or wherever you work everyday.
80. Remember: Nobody is thinking about you. They’re too busy thinking about themselves.
81. Don’t just read books, re-read books.
82. Make haste, slowly.
83. Don’t talk about projects until you’re finished.
84. Go into the wilderness.
85. Try to see opportunities where others see obstacles.
86. Inner scorecard vs. outer scorecard.
87. Have unrelated hobbies.
88. You don’t solve problems by running away. Travel will not make you happy. (“Wherever you go, there you are.”)
89. Seek out challenges.
90. “Whenever you are offended, understand that you are complicit in taking offense.” — Epictetus
91. Think progress, not perfection.
92. “Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’” — Marcus Aurelius
93. Lighten up. Relax. (Whatever it is, you’re probably taking it too seriously.)
94. Focus on what you can control.
95. Wrap up each day as if it were the end of your life.
96. Live an interesting life.
97. Value the Four Virtues.
99. Ego is the enemy.
100. Stillness is the key.