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Discipline Is Destiny
Cover of Discipline Is Destiny
Discipline Is Destiny
The Power of Self-Control
The instant New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller!
In his New York Times bestselling book Courage is Calling, author Ryan Holiday made the Stoic case for a bold and brave life. In this much-anticipated second book of his Stoic Virtue series, Holiday celebrates the awesome power of self-discipline and those who have seized it.

To master anything, one must first master themselves–one’s emotions, one’s thoughts, one’s actions. Eisenhower famously said that freedom is really the opportunity to practice self-discipline. Cicero called the virtue of temperance the polish of life. Without boundaries and restraint, we risk not only failing to meet our full potential and jeopardizing what we have achieved, but we ensure misery and shame. In a world of temptation and excess, this ancient idea is more urgent than ever.
In Discipline is Destiny, Holiday draws on the stories of historical figures we can emulate as pillars of self-discipline, including Lou Gehrig, Queen Elizabeth II, boxer Floyd Patterson, Marcus Aurelius and writer Toni Morrison, as well as the cautionary tales of Napoleon, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Babe Ruth. Through these engaging examples, Holiday teaches readers the power of self-discipline and balance, and cautions against the perils of extravagance and hedonism.
At the heart of Stoicism are four simple virtues: courage, temperance, justice, and wisdom. Everything else, the Stoics believed, flows from them. Discipline is Destiny will guide readers down the path to self-mastery, upon which all the other virtues depend. Discipline is predictive. You cannot succeed without it. And if you lose it, you cannot help but bring yourself failure and unhappiness.
The instant New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller!
In his New York Times bestselling book Courage is Calling, author Ryan Holiday made the Stoic case for a bold and brave life. In this much-anticipated second book of his Stoic Virtue series, Holiday celebrates the awesome power of self-discipline and those who have seized it.

To master anything, one must first master themselves–one’s emotions, one’s thoughts, one’s actions. Eisenhower famously said that freedom is really the opportunity to practice self-discipline. Cicero called the virtue of temperance the polish of life. Without boundaries and restraint, we risk not only failing to meet our full potential and jeopardizing what we have achieved, but we ensure misery and shame. In a world of temptation and excess, this ancient idea is more urgent than ever.
In Discipline is Destiny, Holiday draws on the stories of historical figures we can emulate as pillars of self-discipline, including Lou Gehrig, Queen Elizabeth II, boxer Floyd Patterson, Marcus Aurelius and writer Toni Morrison, as well as the cautionary tales of Napoleon, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Babe Ruth. Through these engaging examples, Holiday teaches readers the power of self-discipline and balance, and cautions against the perils of extravagance and hedonism.
At the heart of Stoicism are four simple virtues: courage, temperance, justice, and wisdom. Everything else, the Stoics believed, flows from them. Discipline is Destiny will guide readers down the path to self-mastery, upon which all the other virtues depend. Discipline is predictive. You cannot succeed without it. And if you lose it, you cannot help but bring yourself failure and unhappiness.
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  • From the cover Part I The Exterior (The Body)


    Our body is our glory, our hazard and our care.

    Martha Graham

    We begin with the self-the physical form. In St Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, we're told to keep under the body, and bring it into subjection, so that we will not be made a castaway. The Roman tradition, according to the Stoics, was about "endurance, a frugal diet, and a modest use of other material possessions." They wore functional clothes and shoes, ate off functional plates, drank moderately out of functional glasses, and committed earnestly to the rituals of ancient life. Do we pity this? Or admire it for its simplicity and dignity? In a world of abundance, each of us must wrestle with our desires, our urges, as well as the timeless battle to strengthen ourselves for the vicissitudes of life. This is not about six-pack abs or the avoidance of all that feels good, but instead about developing the fortitude required for the path we have chosen. It's about being able to go the distance, and steering clear of the blind alleys and mirages along the way. If we don't dominate ourselves physically, who and what does dominate? Outside forces. Laziness. Adversity. Entropy. Atrophy. We do the work, today and always, because it's what we're here for. And we know that while it might seem easy to take it easy and more pleasurable to indulge our pleasure centers, in the long run, it is a far more painful route.

    Ruling Over the Body . . .

    He played through fevers and migraines. He played through crippling back pain; pulled muscles; sprained ankles; and once, the day after being hit in the head by an eighty-mile-per-hour fastball, he suited up and played in Babe Ruth's hat, because the swelling made it impossible to put on his own.

    For 2,130 consecutive games, Lou Gehrig played first base for the New York Yankees, a streak of physical stamina that stood for the next five-and-a-half decades. It was a feat of human endurance so long immortalized that it's easy to miss how incredible it actually was. The Major League Baseball regular season in those days was 152 games. Gehrig's Yankees went deep in the postseason, nearly every year, reaching the World Series a remarkable seven times. For seventeen years, Gehrig played from April to October, without rest, at the highest level imaginable. In the off-season, players barnstormed and played in exhibition games, sometimes traveling as far away as Japan to do so. During his time with the Yankees, Gehrig played some 350 doubleheaders and traveled at least two hundred thousand miles across the country, mostly by train and bus.

    Yet he never missed a game.

    Not because he was never injured or sick, but because he was an Iron Horse of a man who refused to quit, who pushed through pain and physical limits that others would have used as an excuse. At some point, Gehrig's hands were X-rayed, and stunned doctors found at least seventeen healed fractures. Over the course of his career, he'd broken nearly every one of his fingers-and it not only hadn't slowed him down, but he'd failed to say a word about it.

    In another sense, he's almost unfairly famous for the streak, which overshadows the stats he accumulated along the way. His career batting average was an unbelievable .340, which he topped only when it counted, hitting .361 in his postseason career. (In two different World Series, he batted over .500.) He hit 495 home runs, including twenty-three grand slams-a record that stood for more than seven decades. In 1934, he became just the third player ever to win the MLB Triple Crown, leading the league in batting average, home runs, and RBIs (runs batted in)....
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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Discipline Is Destiny
Discipline Is Destiny
The Power of Self-Control
Ryan Holiday
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