Discipline Is Destiny Book Summary - Discipline Is Destiny Book explained in key points
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Discipline Is Destiny summary

Ryan Holiday

The Power of Self-Control

4.7 (1694 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

'Discipline Is Destiny' by Ryan Holiday is a guidebook for cultivating discipline and self-mastery. It explores the lives and practices of legendary figures throughout history to make the case that self-control is essential for success in every area of life.

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    Discipline Is Destiny
    Summary of 4 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 4

    Self-discipline doesn’t deprive you – it grants you freedom.

    Tired of your surroundings? Hop on a plane. Dissatisfied at work? Change jobs. Crave pizza? Order it. Have an opinion? Share it. In much of today’s world, people can do and access almost anything they want at the snap of a finger. And yet, with all this freedom, so many of us are so unhappy. What are we doing wrong?

    President Eisenhower famously said that freedom is the “opportunity for self-discipline.” And this is the key. Unless we have temperance, or the virtue of self-discipline, all of these things that supposedly liberate us – technology, privilege, success – will only leave us spiraling without direction or purpose. In other words, access without self-restraint leads to imbalance and dysfunction.

    Let’s dive in a little deeper. We all have a lower and higher self – those inner voices constantly vying for our attention. It’s Hercules’s choice between vice and virtue. The side that gives up versus the side that tries. The part that clings to excess and chaos versus the part that seeks balance.

    Self-discipline is the ability to keep your lower self in check and strengthen your higher self. It involves working hard, practicing good habits, enduring challenges, setting boundaries, and turning a blind eye to temptations. In short, it’s about living a life guided by principles, moderation, and determination.

    You might be thinking, Hell, no. Not for me. Self-discipline? More like self-deprivation! Maybe you celebrate or even envy people who take the easy path. You might think they’re having more fun or getting ahead faster. But look more closely, and you’ll realize that all that glitters isn’t gold. Take greed, for instance. It means you’re always on the prowl for more – and so never really enjoy everything you currently have. And not realizing your full potential? That’s a state which breeds pain, misery, and self-loathing.

    Self-discipline isn’t about depriving yourself – in fact, it’s the opposite. It’s about using control to open up a world of opportunity.

    Let’s return to Eisenhower for a moment. When he was young, he learned a Bible verse that echoed a lesson taught by the Stoic philosopher Seneca: “Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.” Eisenhower carried this lesson throughout a long, unglamorous military career, all the way into his appointment to Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in World War II – and then into his role as the 34th US president. His enormous success didn’t result from force; instead, he was powerful in his restraint and ability to persuade, compromise, and practice patience. 

    It’s true that it takes courage to cultivate self-discipline. But embracing this lifestyle will likely make you more successful. And, more importantly, it’ll make you great – no matter what happens. 

    In the next sections, we’ll explore exactly how to manifest self-discipline physically, mentally, and spiritually. First up? The body.

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    What is Discipline Is Destiny about?

    Discipline Is Destiny (2022) draws on Stoic virtues to make a case for a life guided by self-discipline. It shows how being in control of your body, thoughts, and emotions is a prerequisite to mastering anything else – and uses historical figures to illustrate how things like sleep, discomfort, and kindness tie into greatness. 

    Discipline Is Destiny Review

    Discipline Is Destiny (2022) by Ryan Holiday is a thought-provoking exploration of the profound impact discipline can have on our lives. Here's why this book is definitely worth a read:

    • Through insightful stories and examples, it reveals how discipline is the key to achieving our goals and finding fulfillment in our daily lives.
    • It offers practical strategies for cultivating discipline and building lasting habits, empowering readers to take control of their actions and outcomes.
    • With its engaging and relatable tone, the book makes the topic of discipline accessible and compelling, ensuring readers stay captivated from start to finish.

    Who should read Discipline Is Destiny?

    • Frazzled folks looking for more structure in their lives
    • Go-getters who want to optimize their time and energy
    • Anyone seeking actionable steps to improve their happiness and well-being

    About the Author

    Ryan Holiday is a modern Stoic, an author, and the owner of a bookstore called The Painted Porch. His books, including The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic, and the New York Times best seller Stillness Is the Key, have sold more than five million copies and been translated into over 40 languages. Discipline Is Destiny is the second book in Holiday’s Stoic Virtue series.

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    Discipline Is Destiny FAQs 

    What is the main message of Discipline Is Destiny?

    The main message of Discipline Is Destiny is that discipline is the key to success and fulfillment.

    How long does it take to read Discipline Is Destiny?

    The reading time for Discipline Is Destiny varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Discipline Is Destiny a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Discipline Is Destiny is a worthwhile read for anyone looking to understand the power of discipline. It provides valuable insights and practical strategies for success.

    Who is the author of Discipline Is Destiny?

    The author of Discipline Is Destiny is Ryan Holiday.

    What to read after Discipline Is Destiny?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Discipline Is Destiny, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Courage is Calling by Ryan Holiday
    • Discipline Equals Freedom by Jocko Willink
    • The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill
    • Free Speech by Jacob Mchangama
    • Millennial Money Makeover by Conor Richardson
    • Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
    • No Excuses! by Brian Tracy
    • Mastery by George Leonard
    • The Anarchy by William Dalrymple
    • See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar