Discipline Is Destiny With Bestselling Author Ryan Holiday

ryan holliday

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Ryan Holiday 

Ryan Holiday is a number one New York Times bestselling author and media strategist. He’s written more than a dozen books, including "Ego Is the Enemy," "The Daily Stoic," "The Obstacle Is the Way," and "Stillness Is the Key."

He’s also the host of a popular podcast called "The Daily Stoic."

His newest book, "Discipline Is Destiny," is part of a series he’s written on "The Stoic Virtues."

Why Ryan Holiday Is Mentally Strong

Ryan studies stoicism and his book reflects upon what he’s been learning. He takes complex ideas and presents them in a very simple manner.

He uses historical examples and talks about how to apply the principles to modern life. 

He also shares some of the ways in which he applies the principles to his daily life. But he’s honest about the struggles he has along the way. For example, there’s a section at the back of his book about how he struggled to stay disciplined while writing it.

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • Why most of us don’t like the word ‘discipline’
  • The difference between being disciplined and working long hours
  • Why people who lack discipline aren’t really having more fun
  • How discipline in one area can spread to other areas of your life
  • Where to start if you’re struggling with discipline
  • Why more discipline will make you a happier person
  • The areas of your life where you can develop discipline
  • How to develop conditions that help you become more disciplined
  • Why the way you dress matters
  • Why getting more rest can be part of living a disciplined life
  • How to know what your priorities really are

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

There’s a clear link between discipline and mental health. A lack of discipline can lead to chaos, which might stir up anxiety or lead to depression.

Becoming more disciplined can help people gain a sense of control over themselves and their lives. 

But mental health problems can make it difficult to be disciplined sometimes. Despite the extra challenges though, it’s possible to develop more discipline one small step at a time. 

That might involve remembering to take your medication every day. Or, it could involve doing the dishes every day. Build on those little things and you’ll start to develop a more disciplined life.

Quotes From Ryan

Ryan Holiday

If you were saying to me, ‘My life is chaotic and dysfunctional. I'm not someone who's good with discipline. Where should I start?’ I would tell you to start with what time you're going to bed and when you wake up because these are really easy quantifiable things to bring order to a disordered sphere.

— Ryan Holiday
  • "Physical discipline could be really easy for someone. Meanwhile, controlling their temper could be the hardest thing in the world. Or conversely, someone could be very emotionally controlled, very rational, and very deliberate about how they do their work. And then, they're shoving their face full of Oreos."
  • "I'm able to wear comfortable clothing of my own choice, and I don't really have to care what anyone thinks, but I know that if I just roll out of bed and I walk to the computer like I'm some unemployed person in my mother's basement, that's not treating the workspace or the work with enough respect."

More About the Podcast

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Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too.

Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors. Thank you.

For media or public speaking inquiries, contact Amy here.

Links and Resources

Check out Ryan’s books

Visit his website: RyanHoliday.net

Listen to The Daily Stoic podcast

Follow Ryan on Instagram: @RyanHoliday

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.