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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Ryan Holiday

In Forge. More on Medium.

🤷 Tip: When you need to say “no” to something, say you have a rule.

If you need an easy and straightforward way to decline a request—perhaps an acquaintance on Facebook is asking if you want to hear about their latest MLM business or a colleague has just invited you to an event that starts at 8 p.m.—Ryan Holiday suggests saying you have a rule, something he learned from Nerd Fitness founder Steve Kamb.

Holiday writes on Forge: “‘I have a rule that I don’t decide on the phone.’ ‘I have a rule that I don’t accept gifts.’ ‘I have…


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There’s nothing like a global pandemic to sap your motivation. When you’re locked in your house, working from home, when your routine is disrupted, when everything that’s happening in the world seems to be negative, it’s easy to say, screw it. Or, it’s easy to tell yourself that you’ll get back on track when things go back to normal. I’ll start eating salads for lunch when I’m back at the office. I’ll stop snacking when the kids are back on a schedule. I’ll get back to working out when I can safely go to the gym. …


The best pieces of wisdom gathered from a body of work that spans 2,000 years

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What is the job of a philosopher?

“When the standards have been set,” Epictetus said, “the work of philosophy is just this, to examine and uphold the standards, but the work of a truly good person is in using those standards when they know them.”

Pretty straightforward then: Define your rules. Live by them.

But the Stoics were not quite so direct in practice. While they spoke, wrote, and debated, nowhere did they put their “commandments” down in one place. Not in any form that survived, at least. …


A list for anyone struggling to see beyond this pandemic moment

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Over the past year, we’ve all been tested. Many of us have failed.

The pandemic made some of us callous. It infected others with conspiracy theories. Too many of us gave into apathy and chaos, losing all sense of structure (and spending who knows how many hours watching Netflix). Now, with the pandemic in the home stretch, but still with us, we have to get serious. We have to get serious about the tried and tested way to wisdom: reading.

Books are an investment in yourself — one that can come in many forms: novels, nonfiction, how-to, poetry, classics, biographies…


Stress is part of life. But suffering because of stress? To the Stoics, that was a choice.

Graphic of a person standing on top of a hill/mountain overlooking a red sun.
Graphic of a person standing on top of a hill/mountain overlooking a red sun.
Credit: We Are/Getty Images

“It’s normal to feel pain in your hands and feet, if you’re using your feet as feet and your hands as hands. And for a human being to feel stress is normal — if he’s living a normal human life. And if it’s normal, how can it be bad?” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.33

Life has always been hard. Even in the ancient world, there were children to raise, debts to pay, and terrible bosses. People got sick. They committed to too much.

Stress was a fact of life. But suffering because of stress? …


Ryan Holiday’s favorite lessons on success, relationships, and being a good human

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In his essay On the Happy Life, the philosopher Seneca makes an extended list of rules for living a good life. It’s everyone’s wish to live better, he says, but we are often in the dark on how to do so.

Except… we’re not. At least, we don’t have to be. So many people have struggled in the dark before us, and their experiences and lessons have created light. Living a good life starts with learning from one another.

With that in mind, here are 100 rules that have helped me live the life I want. Some have come from…

Forge

A publication from Medium on personal development.

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