“Stillness Is the Key” by Ryan Holiday

Book Notes

Stillness is the Key: Get rid of your stuff #

One of my favorite chapter titles in all of Ryan Holiday’s books is “Get Rid of Your Stuff” in “Stillness is the Key”. Grab a bag, fill it up with stuff you don’t need, and get it out of the house.

A good lesson from living in New York was that I didn’t need all that much space. There were certainly times when I could’ve used more space. But my now-wife and I got by fine.

In California, I’m starting to feel some of what Ryan Holiday calls comfort creep. From “Stillness is the Key“.

There is also what we can term “comfort creep.” We get so used to a certain level of convenience and luxury that it becomes almost inconceivable that we used to live without it. As wealth grows, so does our sense of “normal.” But just a few years ago we were fine without this bounty. We had no problem eating ramen or squeezing into a small apartment. But now that we have more, our mind begins to lie to us. You need this. Be anxious that you might lose it. Protect it. Don’t share.

Sometimes I love the comfort and convenience of owning a car. Other times I very much miss the careless life in New York.

(But as I write this, I got a flashback of rainy, cold subway commutes. Maybe some comfort creep is okay…)

Journaling toward stillness #

I’m writing this at the gym and have made it here every day for a week. Miracles can happen. Consistency over intensity is a principle I try to follow. Not that I lean toward intensity—it’s that my workouts are already not that intense so I should at least aim to be consistent with them.

Anyway, I want to get back to posting regularly and I can apply that principle to creating content as well. Though I guess it’s more like consistency over quality. (Which, now that I’m writing it, is restating quantity over quality.)

Actually, maybe it really should be this idea of consistency over intensity. I often create 4-hour time blocks on a weekend where I think I’ll write 2 posts and make a podcast episode and a video. It of course leads to just making a draft of a video, 0 posts, and no podcast.

So I’ll try doing this for at least 3 posts: 1 book quote with some thoughts.

Here’s the first, from Ryan Holiday’s Stillness is the Key (which I finished reading last night):

What’s the best way to start journaling? Is there an ideal time of day? How long should it take?

Who cares?

How you journal is much less important than why you are doing it: To get something off your chest. To have quiet time with your thoughts. To clarify those thoughts. To separate the harmful from the insightful. I want this blog to be a place for collecting other people’s polished ideas and sharing my own rough thoughts. My public journal.