“Stillness Is The Key” Quotes

I recently read “Stillness Is The Key” by Ryan Holiday. Below are the quotes I found most interesting.

“All outdoors may be bedlam, provided that there is no disturbance within.” -Seneca (xiv)

“Buddhism. Stoicism. Epicureanism. Christianity. Hinduism. It’s all but impossible to find a philosophical school or religion that does not venerate this inner peace – this stillness – as the highest good and as the key to elite performance and a happy life. And when basically all the wisdom of the ancient world agrees on something, only a fool would decline to listen.” (xvi)

“The goal of Zen, his master taught him, was to “achieve a void… noiseless, colorless, heatless void” – to get to that state of emptiness, whether it was on the mound or in the batter’s box or at practice.” (42)

“Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward. Work not for the reward; but never cease to do thy work.” -The Bhagavad Gita (75)

“Each of us must break the link in the chain of what the Buddhists call samsara, the continuation of life’s suffering from generation to generation.” (110)

“Give more. Give what you didn’t get. Love more. Drop the old story.” -Gary Shandling (111)

“Of the seven deadly sins, only envy is no fun at all.” -Joseph Epstein (114

“To have blessings and to prize them is to be in Heaven; to have them and not to prize them is to be in Hell… To prize them and not to have them is to be in Hell.” Thomas Traherne (122)

“If you believe there is ever some point where you will feel like you’ve “made it,” when you’ll finally be good, you are in for an unpleasant surprise… just as that feeling appears to be within reach, the goal is moved just a little bit farther up the mountain and out of reach.” (124)

“What do we want more of in life? That’s the question. It’s not accomplishments. It’s not popularity. It’s moments when we feel like we are enough.” (126)

“The Japanese have a concept, shinrin yoku – forest bathing – which is a form of therapy that uses nature as a treatment for mental and spiritual issues.” (132)

“There is no stillness to the mind that thinks of nothing but itself, nor will there ever be peace for the body and spirit that follow their every urge and value nothing but themselves.” (137)

“The nihilist is forced to wrestle with the immense complexity and difficulty and potential emptiness of life (and death) with nothing but their own mind. This is a comically unfair mismatch.” (140)

“It’s not that we need to believe that God is great, only that God is greater than us.” -Nassim Taleb (141)

“Anyone can be rich or famous. Only you can be Dad or Mom or Daughter or Son or Soul Mate to the people in your life.” (144)

“Your house might be quieter without kids and it might be easier to work longer hours without someone waiting for you at the dinner table, but it is a hollow quiet and an empty ease.” (148)

“Around noon Winston Churchill would stop in to say hello to his wife for the first time – believing all his life that the secret to a happy marriage was that spouses should not see each other before noon.” (173)

“The greats know that complete freedom is a nightmare. They know that order is a prerequisite of excellence and that in an unpredictable world, good habits are a safe haven of certainty.” (201)

“When the body is busy with the familiar, the mind can relax. The monotony becomes muscle memory.” (203)

“Everywhere I have sought peace and not found it, except in a corner with a book.” -Thomas a Kempis (217)

“Leisure is not the absence of activity, it is activity. What is absent is any eternal justification – you can’t do leisure for pay, you can’t do it to impress people. You have to do it for you.” (237)

“There is nourishment in pursuits that have no purpose – that is their purpose.” (241)

Did you like the quotes? Then read and buy the full book here.