“If you don’t know how much you need, the default easily becomes ‘more.'” – Ryan Holiday
My job is usually to deconstruct world-class performers from business, military, entertainment, politics, or athletics, and then to tease out the routines and habits you can use.
But in this in-betweenisode, Ryan Holiday, author of the book Ego Is the Enemy, shares a chapter called What’s Important to You? This chapter alone is worth the price of the book, and it contains many fundamental truths that can be applied to business and life. (The book is also the newest addition to my book club, which can be found at audible.com/timsbooks.)
If you like what Ryan has to say, check out the recent conversation we had, which dives deeper into what he’s all about.
If you only have 5 minutes, listen to this segment on why most people have trouble appreciating their own successes.
[Ed. Note: There is no transcript for this episode, as the text is available in book form.]
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another podcast with Ryan Holiday? — In this episode, we discuss the “big three” Stoics, how Stoicism applies to the modern world, and how to improve your decision-making when stakes are high (stream below or right-click here to download):
This episode is brought to you by Headspace, the world’s most popular meditation app (with more than 4,000,000 users). It’s used in more than 150 countries, and many of my closest friends swear by it. Try Headspace’s free Take10 program — 10 minutes of guided meditation a day for 10 days. It’s like a warm bath for your mind. Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, and it’s had a huge impact on my life. Try Headspace for free for a few days and see what I mean.
This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service led by technologists from places like Apple. It has exploded in popularity in the last two years and now has more than $2.5B under management. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.
Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you — for free — exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Well worth a few minutes to explore: wealthfront.com/tim.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Ryan Holiday:
- Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday (also on Audible)
- The Ulysses S. Grant Administration: 1869-1877, Authentic History
- After the War from the memoirs of William T. Sherman
- Explaining the idiom “Keeping up with the Joneses“
- The Concept of Euthymia, Giovanni A.Fava and Per Bech, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
- Disgraced Journalist Jonah Lehrer Talks About His Misdeeds; Wants to Earn Trust by Paul Raeburn, The Huffington Post
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- Two Civil War heroes take very different paths following the war. [06:06]
- Why do we covet what others have instead of being happy with our own successes? [08:07]
- The consequences of saying “yes” when we fear saying “no.” [09:04]
- The more we accomplish, the more often we meet people who have accomplished more — and the smaller we feel in comparison. [10:12]
- We pick up the pace to keep up with others — but what if there’s more than one race going on? [10:41]
- Competitiveness isn’t the enemy. [11:07]
- “If you don’t know how much you need, the default easily becomes ‘more.'” [12:34]
- Disgraced plagiarist Jonah Lehrer on combining insecurity and ambition. [13:08]
- What’s your motivation? [13:49]
- The emptiness of the “if I only had that” illusion. [14:49]
- What is independence? [15:18]
- Robert Louis Stevenson
- Ulysses S. Grant
- William Tecumseh Sherman
- Ferdinand Ward
- Jonah Lehrer
- Captain Ahab
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.