Courage is Calling Book Summary - Courage is Calling Book explained in key points
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Courage is Calling summary

Ryan Holiday

Fortune Favors the Brave

4.3 (349 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Courage is Calling by Ryan Holiday is a guide to overcoming fears, doubts, and uncertainties in order to live a life of purpose and fulfillment. This book provides actionable insights and prompts to help readers push through their comfort zones and embrace challenges with courage.

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    Courage is Calling
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Courage means willingly facing hardship and danger.

    When people talk about courage, they often break it into two different types: moral courage and physical courage.

    Moral courage, they say, is the ability to act as your conscience dictates – even if that means defying social norms, or risking scandal and gossip. Whistleblowers and truth tellers exemplify this type of courage. They’re unafraid to rely on their own inner convictions, no matter the consequences.

    Physical courage, on the other hand, is demonstrated by soldiers and first responders. It means risking life and limb – putting your body, rather than your reputation, on the line.

    Maybe you think it’s a useful distinction. But is it really? At the end of the day, doesn’t courage of all stripes come down to one thing: taking risks, enduring danger, putting yourself in peril?

    Tke key message here is: Courage means willingly facing hardship and danger.

    You’ve surely heard of Hercules. He’s a towering figure, both literally and figuratively, in the myths of ancient Greece. A hard-living and rugged warrior, it’s easy to imagine him living on the spur of the moment, romping through life in pursuit of each minute’s appetites and whims. 

    But nothing could be further from the truth. You see, Hercules willingly chose to endure hardship. Presented with two options – a risk-free life of ease and a risky life of virtue – he made the courageous choice. He embraced risk and struggle, and spent his life pursuing virtue.

    In the legend, the choice was stark. Hercules, then only a young man, came to a shaded crossroads in the hills of Greece. The road diverged – and along each path stood a woman, each quite unlike the other.

    One was a beautiful goddess, luxuriously robed. She enticed him with promises of ease, pleasure, and untroubled peace. If he followed her, she assured him, he would never experience pain, hardship, or deprivation: his life would be a dream, his every wish satisfied.

    The other woman promised something very different. She too was a goddess, but she was dressed very plainly. She didn’t entice or allure, and she offered a life a good deal less tempting. Not a life of pleasure, but one of struggle. Not a life of ease, but one of hard work. 

    But for all the deprivation and danger Hercules would face, all the threats and terrors, he would also gain something: not pleasure, not ease, but glory – the reward for living life against the odds, for courageously choosing to pursue virtue. 

    Hercules hesitated briefly – and then he chose the thorny but virtuous path, the one that has kept his name alive for eons. You might hesitate, too – but would you choose what Hercules chose?

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    What is Courage is Calling about?

    Courage is Calling (2021) is both a meditation on bravery and a guide to courageousness. From how to dispel your fears to the benefits of taking small steps first, it gives concrete advice for building courage, and lays out, in writing rich with anecdotes, the simple ways that each of us can become a little bit braver.

    Courage is Calling Review

    Courage is Calling (2022) by Ryan Holiday is a book that explores the power of courage and its role in our lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers insightful stories about individuals who have demonstrated exceptional courage in the face of adversity, inspiring readers to step out of their comfort zones.
    • By delving into the psychology of fear and bravery, the book equips readers with practical tools to cultivate courage and tackle challenges head-on.
    • With its thought-provoking ideas and thoughtfully curated research, the book manages to keep readers engaged and ensures that it is anything but boring.

    Who should read Courage is Calling?

    • Scaredy-cats in need of a strong dose of daring
    • The already-courageous who want to become even braver
    • Anyone interested in how courage has shaped history

    About the Author

    Ryan Holiday is an American author, media strategist, and bookstore owner. He’s also the host of the Daily Stoic podcast. His other books include The Daily Stoic, Ego is the Enemy, and The Obstacle is the Way.

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    Courage is Calling FAQs 

    What is the main message of Courage is Calling?

    The main message of Courage is Calling is that courage is essential for finding purpose and achieving personal growth.

    How long does it take to read Courage is Calling?

    The reading time for Courage is Calling depends on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Courage is Calling a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Courage is Calling is worth reading as it offers valuable insights into courage and personal growth. It provides practical advice and inspiration for overcoming challenges.

    Who is the author of Courage is Calling?

    The author of Courage is Calling is Ryan Holiday.

    What to read after Courage is Calling?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Courage is Calling, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Discipline Is Destiny by Ryan Holiday
    • Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
    • Discipline Equals Freedom by Jocko Willink
    • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
    • The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill
    • Learned Excellence by Eric Potterat & Alan Eagle
    • The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman
    • Choose Possibility by Sukhinder Singh Cassidy
    • Lives of the Stoics by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
    • No Excuses! by Brian Tracy