LIZZIE BOOK REVIEW 07: Stillness is the Key By Ryan Holiday

Welcome to the Lizzie Book Review for Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday

All Lizzie Book Reviews are a 3 minute read, and in this format:

  1. Why I Chose This Book.
  2. The Review (under 300 words)
  3. My scores for Creativity, Insight and Precision.
1. Why I Chose This Book.

I and many of the people I have conversations with talk about the value of nothing, pausing, time away, stillness. I like how Holiday brings in a mix of old and new research and practicalities into his books. It was an opportunity to hear about how he approached a subject that is much talked about.

QUOTE:  “Hold up thought, make sure you are not being led astray by appearances and musing what couldn’t be seen by the naked eye” Epictetus p46

2. The Review.

Practical and informative. This is a book that will share simple actions that can make a difference with progress. Progress will come from creating stillness around what you do with tools you already have. The ideas are arguably common sense, that you are likely to know, but in many cases we don’t apply and mostly leave in our unconscious mind.

The mix of research, practical application and well crafted chapters means you could select one chapter and work on that or start at the beginning and work your way through.

Holiday explores three areas: mind, spirit and body. The mind I see he divides into three. Those actions which can limit what goes in, options that can sort what is going on in the mind and lastly making use of what we have. Spirit section is a mix of supporting your purpose, recognising what is beyond you and knowing when enough is enough. The last section is about the body. This section is about simplification by doing things that we are born to do like sleeping, taking a walk plus being who we are. He does also notes that we need to watch that stillness doesn’t become escapism.

QUOTE: “We’ll get the stillness we need if we focus on the individual steps. If we embrace the process and give up chasing.” p78

3. My scores for Creativity, Insight and Precision.

CREATIVITY – How interesting and innovative was it?
Nothing in this book is revolutionary but that is the point. We don’t need to be finding something new. It is the simple things. We have the tools as humans to create the stillness.


INSIGHT – What will it teach you?
If you read books like this you might find that on the surface there is nothing new. Underneath the chapter messaging is all about creating time through actions that will allow your brain to breath and be in a better place for progress. Holiday brings in ideas and learnings from those perceived to have had success like greek philosophers and leaders like Churchill.


PRECISION – How exactly can you apply what it teaches?
Each chapter can be applied in every day life. The contents pages could be used as a to do list. Quotes can inspire you and give you the kick to getting started with what you know will add value to you. The hard bit will be making sure you start applying in small amounts and not over whelmed by the options and so dont get started.



QUOTE” Sleep is the interest we have to pay on the capital which is called in at death. The higher the interest rate and the more regularly it is paid, the further the date of redemption is postponed” p230

Should I buy the book?

If you would like a book that gives you a brief background and shows you how:


If you would like a book with stories and long hand examples that you could twist a little to fit your context:


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