DISCIPLINE IS DESTINY: The power of self-control | Ryan Holiday, Penguin (2022) p312.
Holiday’s second in his Cardinal Virtue tetralogy is Discipline is Destiny. Discipline - the habit of self-government at its most intimate - is always a pressing and timely topic. Every day, I fall short of the ideal standard of self-discipline. Hence, it was with great interest that I picked this tome up.
The book unfolds in three parts, covering the body (exterior), the temperament ( inner domain), and the soul (the magisterial). Each section is a series of mini sub-themes ranging from your approach to diet, exercise, dress, time at work, time sleeping, your relationship to pleasure and luxury, and concluding with a focus on your engagement with others.
It is less a how-to book and more of a why-do book filled with the usual historical allegories ranging from Lou Gehrig to Sandra Day O’Connor to Churchill, Eisenhower, and many more.
Discipline is Destiny follows the same template Holiday has previously deployed: short exhortations of somewhat quippy pith followed by a mix of quotes and storytelling. The writing level is that of an average high schooler, which is, to say, fully accessible.
Ironically, for a book with a chapter titled “Silence is Strength,” the author chooses to opine on a few current events that are off-topic and shorten the shelf-life of the writing all in what must be assumed is an emotional telegraph or virtue signaling endemic to his sense of identity. There again, discipline is tough.
The book is recursive and needs to be more organized in structure. In the way that daily devotionals provide motivation and inspiration, Discipline is a booklet best consumed with that value-add in mind.