Ryan Holiday on Living Life as a Beginner

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Best-selling author of Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic and The Obstacle Is the Way, Ryan Holiday discusses the dangers of ego with SUCCESS.com’s Shelby Skrhak. Unlike the Freudian definition, Holiday is referring to the colloquial definition. It’s the entitled voice in our head that’s resistant to feedback, rigid to change and averse to learning. Unlike confidence, Holiday argues, ego is stolen or manufactured. Confidence is earned. In this interview, Holiday shares his own difficult journey with ego, how to build a student mindset, and tips to combat ego in your life.

This interview appears on the SUCCESS Talks Collection, available in the December 2016 edition of SUCCESS magazine.


  • When you’re scared to take a risk, imagine the worst outcome that could happen. Holiday says this is how to calm your mind from going on a rampage of fear-based thinking.
  • Do you know the difference between confidence and egoism? Is your ego holding you back from achieving your goals? Learn how to manage your ego and find success.
  • The most successful people in life know there is always room for improvement. The key, Holiday says, is to be a forever student. Are you always looking for ways to grow?
  • Learn why surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you will accelerate your growth and show your team that you care more about developing as a leader than protecting your ego.
  • You shouldn’t be focused on how you will be remembered in the future. Your legacy should be focused on what you value right now.

Favorite quote from this episode:

“There’s a wonderful line from the stoic philosopher Epictetus, and he says, ‘One cannot learn that which they think they already know.’ And this is why the student mindset is so important. If you are convinced that you know everything, in some respects you’re right, because you won’t learn anything else [with that mindset].”

—Ryan Holiday

SUCCESS Talks, the popular audio program included every month in SUCCESS magazine, is now available as a weekly podcastWe feature fascinating interviews with prominent business, creative and thought leaders such as Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss and Barbara Corcoran, and include key takeaways designed to help you put information into action.

Catch up on all individual episodes at SUCCESS.com/SUCCESSTalks or download the monthly SUCCESS Talks Collection with your magazine subscription.



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