"Discipline Is Destiny" by Ryan Holiday

Review by Borodutch

This book is the second in the stoic virtues series by Ryan Holiday. Like the predecessor, the author sprinkled it with stories from biographies of famous individuals and how they used the virtue at hand in various situations. Of course, the examples here are again solely for illustrative purposes, yet the feeling of survivorship bias is hanging above the head while reading at all times.

Ryan tries to go deep into what "Discipline" means for stoics. Again, it seems this book could've been an essay, but it's short enough, so it might be a decent weekend listen. The author also refurbishes Marcus Aurelius's stories in this title, but it's expected when we're talking about stoicism out of the context of the previous books.

Overall, there are four main lessons one can learn from "Discipline Is Destiny":

  1. "Just showing up" every day can be more than enough
  2. Perfectionism is a vice — don't crave it; it hinders the progress
  3. Be strict with yourself but tolerant with others — your virtues aren't the norm for the people around you
  4. Temperance is bliss, and moderation is key; don't fall victim to the evergrowing desires

Interestingly enough, this book doesn't limit itself to just the discipline as a concept but explores so much more. All the texts on stoicism by Ryan Holiday are a must-read for me — because there isn't such thing as "too much stoicism," even if new books recycle the same old concepts.

Also, the obligatory quote: "What stands in the way becomes the way."