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Courage Is Calling
Cover of Courage Is Calling
Courage Is Calling
Fortune Favors the Brave
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The instant New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller!
 
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.
The instant New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller!
 
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.
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  • From the cover

    The Call We Fear . . .

    Before she knew any better, Florence Nightingale was fearless.

    There's a little drawing done sometime in her early childhood. An aunt captured Florence walking with her mother and her sister, when she was maybe four years old.

    Her older sister clings to her mother's hand. Meanwhile, Florence "independently stumps along by herself," with that wonderful innocent confidence some children have. She didn't need to be safe. She didn't care what anyone else thought. There was so much to see. So much to explore.

    But sadly, this independence was not to last.

    Maybe somebody told her the world was a dangerous place. Maybe it was the imperceptible but crushing pressure of her times, which said that girls should behave a certain way. Maybe it was the luxury of her privileged existence, which softened her sense of what she was capable of.

    Each of us has had some version of this conversation, when an adult does us the cruel injustice-whatever their intentions-of puncturing our little bubble. They think they are preparing us for the future, when really they're just foisting upon us their own fears, their own limitations.

    Oh, what this costs us. And what courage it deprives the world.

    As it nearly went for Florence Nightingale.

    On February 7, 1837, at age sixteen, she was to get what she was later to refer to as the "call."

     

    To what? To where? And how?

    All she could feel was that it was a mysterious word from on high which imparted to her the sense that something was expected of her, that she was to be of service, to commit to something different than the life of her rich and indolent family, something different than the constraining and underwhelming roles available to women in her time.

    "Somewhere inside, we hear a voice . . . ," Pat Tillman would say as he considered leaving professional football to join the Army Rangers. "Our voice leads us in the direction of the person we wish to become, but it is up to us whether or not to follow. More times than not we are pointed in a predictable, straightforward, and seemingly positive direction. However, occasionally we are directed down a different path entirely."

    You might think that a brave girl like Florence Nightingale would be primed to listen to that voice, but like so many of us, she had internalized the beliefs of her time, becoming a scared teenager who could not dare to imagine a path other than that of her parents.

    "There was a large country house in Derbyshire," Lytton Strachey wrote in his classic Lives of Eminent Victorians, "there was another in the New Forest; there were Mayfair rooms for the London season and all its finest parties; there were tours on the Continent with even more than the usual number of Italian operas and of glimpses at the celebrities of Paris. Brought up among such advantages, it was only natural to suppose that Florence would show a proper appreciation of them by doing her duty in that state of life unto which it had pleased God to call her-in other words, by marrying, after a fitting number of dances and dinner-parties, an eligible gentleman, and living happily ever afterwards."

    For eight years this call sat there in the recesses of Florence's mind like an elephant in the room, not to be addressed. Meanwhile, she was vaguely aware that all was not right in the Victorian world. Life expectancy was barely forty years at birth. In many cities, mortality was higher for patients treated inside hospitals than outside them. In the Crimean War, where Nightingale would later distinguish herself, just eighteen...

About the Author-
  • Ryan Holiday is one of the world's bestselling living philosophers. His books like The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Stillness Is the Key appear in more than 40 languages and have sold more than 4 million copies. Together, they've spent over 300 weeks on the bestseller lists. He lives outside Austin with his wife and two boys...and a small herd of cows and donkeys and goats. His bookstore, The Painted Porch, sits on historic Main St in Bastrop, Texas.
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Courage Is Calling
Courage Is Calling
Fortune Favors the Brave
Ryan Holiday
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