“There aren’t two kinds of courage.
There is only one.
The kind where you put your ass on the line”
– Ryan Holiday, author of Courage is Calling
Courage is Calling by Ryan Holiday will publish September 28th with Profile Books.
Ryan Holiday is the world’s best-selling living philosopher, with more than 4 million books sold in 40 languages. His book The Daily Stoic was a Sunday Times bestseller in January 2021. Ryan has a huge social media profile, with 347.4K followers on Twitter; his Daily StoicInstagram Channel has 1.1 million followers. Recent guests on his popular podcasts include Malcolm Gladwell and Camilla Cabello.
“Ryan Holiday’s Courage is Calling traces the history of courage and its many faces through the ages and arrives at the present day with an urgent call to arms for each and all of us. As we battle our enemies within and without, will we choose to rise up to the call of our courage or blush and bow down to the whispers of our cowardice? Our answer to this question is about more than our sense of duty, it’s about our freedom. It’s about more than wins and losses, it’s about our survival. It’s on me, it’s on you, it’s on us. Take the dare we may.”
– Matthew McConaughey, Academy Award Winning Actor and New York Times #1 best-selling author
Courage is Calling will be the first in his highly anticipated four book series on the four Stoic virtues and I am delighted to be kick-starting the blog tour with an extract for you all today.
[ About the Book ]
Fortune favours the bold. All great leaders of history have known this, and were successful because of the risks they dared to take. But today so many of us are paralysed by fear.
Drawing on ancient Stoic wisdom and examples across history and around the world, Ryan Holiday shows why courage is so important, and how to cultivate it in our own lives. Courage is not simply physical bravery but also doing the right thing and standing up for what you believe; it’s creativity, generosity and perseverance. And it is the only way to live an extraordinary, fulfilled and effective life.
Everything in life begins with courage. This book will equip you with the bravery to begin.
[ Extract ]
It’s easy to be scared. Especially lately.
Events can escalate at any moment. There is uncertainty. You could lose your job. Then your house and your car. Something could even happen with your kids.
Of course we’re going to feel something when things are shaky like that. How could we not?
Even the ancient Stoics, supposedly the masters of all emotions, conceded that we’ll have involuntary reactions. To loud noises. To uncertainty. To being attacked.
They had a word for these immediate, pre-cognitive impressions of things: phantasiai. And they were not to be trusted.
Do you know what the most repeated phrase in the Bible is?
It’s “Be not afraid.”
Over and over again these words appear, a warning from on high not to let phantasiai rule the day.
“Be strong and of good courage,” we hear in the Book of Joshua, “do not be afraid nor be dismayed.” In Deuteronomy, “When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them.” In Proverbs, “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.” In Deuteronomy, again, echoing the Book of Joshua, Moses calls to Joshua and sends him to Israel. “Be strong and courageous,” he says to him, “for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance…Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
The Stoics, the Christians, they didn’t fault anyone for being afraid, for having an emotional reaction. They only cared what you did after the shine of that feeling wore off.
“Be scared. You can’t help that,” as Faulkner put. “But don’t be afraid.”
It’s an essential distinction. A scare is a temporary rush of a feeling. That can be forgiven. Fear is a state of being, and to allow it to rule is a disgrace.
One helps you—makes you alert, wakes you up, informs you of danger. The other drags you down, weakens you, even paralyzes you.
In an uncertain world, in a time of vexing, complicated problems, fear is a liability. Fear holds you back.
It’s OK to be scared. Who wouldn’t be? It’s not OK to let that stop you.
 If the Bible doesn’t work for you, some version of “Be brave,” “Have courage” and “Don’t be scared” appears more than a dozen times in The Odyssey
Purchase Link – Courage is Calling
[ Bio ]
Ryan Holiday is one of the world’s foremost writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life. His books, including The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Stillness Is the Keyhave sold millions of copies and been translated into over 40 languages. He lives outside Austin, Texas, with his wife and two boys… and cows and donkeys and goats.
Twitter – @RyanHoliday @DailyStoic
Instagram – @ryanholiday @dailystoic @dailydad