Few writers have done more to bring ancient, timeless wisdom and cutting-edgemarketing strategies together than Ryan Holiday. By age 32, his philosophically-driven bestselling books have not only sold nearly two million copies, but his latest book, Stillness is the Key, debuted as a #1 NY Times Bestseller. His works have directly influenced Super Bowl-winning teams like the New England Patriots, World Series champions like the Houston Astros, NBA Champions like the San Antonio Spurs, and Olympic Gold Medalists, as well as sitting Senators, military leaders and some of the biggest and most important companies in the world like Google, Twitter and Microsoft.
At the core of Ryan’s teachings is Stoicism, a philosophy he has brought back from ancient Rome and into the workplace, entrepreneurship, politics, and sports. What is Stoicism? The idea that while we don’t always control what happens to us in life, we always control how we respond. It’s this message–a framework for overcoming obstacles, scaling new challenges and battling both the ups and downs and life, illustrated vividly with stories from the greats (and not-so-greats) of history–that has brought Ryan in front of some of the most influential audiences in the world. He’s been profiled by the New York Times, Sports Illustrated and ESPN, and he counts among his clients and followers, some of the biggest names in business, tech, culture and professional athletics.
With a thirst for knowledge outside academic norms, after dropping out of college, Ryan’s marketing career has been equally groundbreaking. Beginning at 21 as the Director of Marketing for American Apparel and through his creative agency, Brass Check, his clients consist of a who’s who of hot brands and businesses. His book Trust Me I’m Lying was the first to reveal the massive vulnerabilities (and opportunities) in the global media system in 2012. His book Growth Hacker Marketing is a bible for startups and Fortune 500 companies alike. Both books are taught in colleges and design programs around the world and his most recent book, Conspiracy, is being adapted into a major motion picture.
Ryan Holiday’s bestselling trilogy—The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego is the Enemy, and Stillness is the Key—captivated professional athletes, CEOs, politicians, and entrepreneurs and helped bring Stoicism to millions of readers. Now, in the first book of an exciting new series on the cardinal virtues of ancient philosophy, Holiday explores the most foundational virtue of all: Courage.
Almost every religion, spiritual practice, philosophy and person grapples with fear. The most repeated phrase in the Bible is “Be not afraid.” The ancient Greeks spoke of phobos, panic and terror. It is natural to feel fear, the Stoics believed, but it cannot rule you. Courage, then, is the ability to rise above fear, to do what’s right, to do what’s needed, to do what is true. And so it rests at the heart of the works of Marcus Aurelius, Aristotle, and CS Lewis, alongside temperance, justice, and wisdom.
In Courage Is Calling, Ryan Holiday breaks down the elements of fear, an expression of cowardice, the elements of courage, an expression of bravery, and lastly, the elements of heroism, an expression of valor. Through engaging stories about historic and contemporary leaders, including Charles De Gaulle, Florence Nightingale, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Holiday shows you how to conquer fear and practice courage in your daily life.
You’ll also delve deep into the moral dilemmas and courageous acts of lesser-known, but equally as important, figures from ancient and modern history, such as Helvidius Priscus, a Roman Senator who stood his ground against emperor Vespasian, even in the face of death; Frank Serpico, a former New York City Police Department Detective who exposed police corruption; and Frederick Douglass and a slave named Nelly, whose fierce resistance against her captors inspired his own crusade to end slavery.
In a world in which fear runs rampant—when people would rather stand on the sidelines than speak out against injustice, go along with convention than bet on themselves, and turn a blind eye to the ugly realities of modern life—we need courage more than ever. We need the courage of whistleblowers and risk takers. We need the courage of activists and adventurers. We need the courage of writers who speak the truth—and the courage of leaders to listen.
We need you to step into the arena and fight.
Ego Is the Enemy draws on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to his-tory. We meet fascinating figures such as George Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Katharine Graham, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who all reached the highest levels of power and success by con-quering their own egos. Their strategies and tactics can be ours as well.
#1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller
The book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”