95+ Stillness Is The Key Quotes (+Summary) by Ryan Holiday

By Maxime Lagacé

Maxime is the founder of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.

Top 10 QuotesOn StillnessOn MiseryOn SimplicityInspirationalHistorical FiguresVideoChaptersSummary

I’ve curated the top 95 Stillness Is The Key Quotes so you don’t have to.

And you will not be disappointed by this book.

Stillness Is The Key is:

  • 1/3 of inspiring stories (Tiger Woods, JFK, Marcus Aurelius, Anne Frank, da Vinci, and many others)
  • 1/3 of wisdom (from Eastern philosophy, Stoicism, etc.) and great quotes from historical figures
  • 1/3 of life lessons and practical advice to develop stillness

And don’t forget to check out the summary at the end.

I hope you’ll enjoy the quotes as much as I did.

stillness is the key ryan holiday

Buy the book here: AudioPaperbackHardcover

Top 10 Quotes From Stillness Is The Key

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday about everything wisdom

Stillness is the key to, well, just about everything. Ryan Holiday

Don’t dwell or needlessly complicate. Be here. Be all of you. Ryan Holiday

The grind of work wears us down and seems to never stop. We are overfed and undernourished. Overstimulated, overscheduled, and lonely. Ryan Holiday

The insights we seek are often buried and rarely obvious — to find them, we need to be able to look deeply, to perceive what others are unable to. Ryan Holiday

If the quiet moments are the best moments, and if so many wise, virtuous people have sung their praises, why are they so rare? Ryan Holiday

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday best work take slow wisdom

Our best and most lasting work comes from when we take things slow. Ryan Holiday

We can’t be afraid of silence, as it has much to teach us. Seek it. The ticking of the hands of your watch is telling you how time is passing away, never to return. Listen to it. Ryan Holiday

There’s no greatness in the future. Or clarity. Or insight. Or happiness. Or peace. There is only this moment. Ryan Holiday

When we know what to say no to, we can say yes to the things that matter. Ryan Holiday

The mind is an important and sacred place. Keep it clean and clear. Ryan Holiday


Quotes On Stillness From Stillness Is The Key

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday more peace productive wisdom

The more at peace we are, the more productive we can be. Ryan Holiday

The call to stillness comes quietly. The modern world does not. Ryan Holiday

Build a kind of mental vault or stronghold that no distraction or false impression can breach. Ryan Holiday

It is in this stillness that we can be present and finally see truth. It is in this stillness that we can hear the voice inside us. Ryan Holiday

That quiet is so rare is a sign of its value. Seize it. We can’t be afraid of silence, as it has much to teach us. Seek it. Ryan Holiday

The wise are still because they have seen it all. They know what to expect because they’ve been through so much. They’ve made mistakes and learned from them. And so must you. Ryan Holiday

Stillness allows us to persevere. To succeed. It is the key that unlocks the insights of genius, and allows us regular folks to understand them. Ryan Holiday

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday steady world spins frenzy wisdom

To be steady while the world spins around you. To act without frenzy. To hear only what needs to be heard. To possess quietude — exterior and interior — on command. Ryan Holiday

What we need in life, in the arts, in sports, is to loosen up, to become flexible, to get to a place where there is nothing in our way — including our own obsession with certain outcomes. Ryan Holiday

It is difficult to think clearly in rooms filled with other people. It’s difficult to understand yourself if you are never by yourself. Ryan Holiday

Stillness is what aims the archer’s arrow. It inspires new ideas. It sharpens perspective and illuminates connections. Ryan Holiday

The world is like muddy water. To see through it, we have to let things settle. We can’t be disturbed by initial appearances, and if we are patient and still, the truth will be revealed to us. Ryan Holiday

Being present demands all of us. It’s not nothing. It may be the hardest thing in the world. Ryan Holiday

Moderation. Being present. Knowing your limits. This is the key. Ryan Holiday

In noticing, we become alive to the stillness. Ryan Holiday


Quotes On Misery, Busyness, Ego, Materialism From Stillness Is The Key

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday less energy regretting future wisdom

The less energy we waste regretting the past or worrying about the future, the more energy we will have for what’s in front of us. Ryan Holiday

We’re overloaded, overwhelmed, and distracted… by our own mind! Ryan Holiday

We are incapable of seeing what is essential in the world if we are blind to what’s going on within us. Ryan Holiday

Yes, thinking is essential. Expert knowledge is undoubtedly key to the success of any leader or athlete or artist. The problem is that, unthinkingly, we think too much. Ryan Holiday

Lust is a destroyer of peace in our lives: Lust for a beautiful person. Lust for an orgasm. Lust for someone other than the one we’ve committed to be with. Lust for power. Lust for dominance. Lust for other people’s stuff. Lust for the fanciest, best, most expensive things that money can buy. And is this not at odds with the self-mastery we say we want? Ryan Holiday

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday present miss life being best wisdom

We are not present… and so we miss out. On life. On being our best. On seeing what’s there. Ryan Holiday

Understand that there will never be “enough” and that the unchecked pursuit of more ends only in bankruptcy. Ryan Holiday

Mental and spiritual independence matter little if the things we own in the physical world end up owning us. Ryan Holiday

What kind of interior life can you have, what kind of thinking can you do, when you’re utterly and completely overworked? Ryan Holiday

No one in the sway of envy or jealousy has a chance to think clearly or live peacefully. Ryan Holiday

We do not live in this moment. We, in fact, try desperately to get out of it — by thinking, doing, talking, worrying, remembering, hoping, whatever. We pay thousands of dollars to have a device in our pocket to ensure that we are never bored. We sign up for endless activities and obligations, chase money and accomplishments, all with the naïve belief that at the end of it will be happiness. Ryan Holiday

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday everyone scared virtuous wisdom

When everyone else is scared and tempted, we will be virtuous. Ryan Holiday

A person enslaved to their urges is not free — whether they are a plumber or the president. Ryan Holiday

A person who makes selfish choices or acts contrary to their conscience will never be at peace. A person who sits back while others suffer or struggle will never feel good, or feel that they are enough, no matter how much they accomplish or how impressive their reputation may be. Ryan Holiday

The more we own, the more we oversee, the less room we have to move and, ironically, the less still we become. Ryan Holiday

More does nothing for the one who feels less than, who cannot see the wealth that was given to them at birth. Ryan Holiday

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Quotes On Simplicity, Routine, Journaling From Stillness Is The Key

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday born free burden wisdom

You were born free — free of stuff, free of burden. Ryan Holiday

It’s difficult to have much in the way of clarity and insight if your life is a constant party and your home is a construction site. Ryan Holiday

People don’t have enough silence in their lives because they don’t have enough solitude. And they don’t get enough solitude because they don’t seek out or cultivate silence. Ryan Holiday

How you journal is much less important than why you are doing it: To get something off your chest. To have quiet time with your thoughts. To clarify those thoughts. To separate the harmful from the insightful. Ryan Holiday

The truth is that a good routine is not only a source of great comfort and stability, it’s the platform from which stimulating and fulfilling work is possible. Ryan Holiday

We don’t need to get rid of all our possessions, but we should constantly question what we own, why we own it, and whether we could do without. Ryan Holiday

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday master control system turns ordinary sacred wisdom

A master is in control. A master has a system. A master turns the ordinary into the sacred. Ryan Holiday

Take as your model Japanese flower arrangers: Orderly. Quiet. Focused. Clean. Fresh. Deliberate. Ryan Holiday

Each of us must cultivate a moral code, a higher standard that we love almost more than life itself. Ryan Holiday

If we aim too intensely for the target we will neglect the process and the art required to hit it. Ryan Holiday

Your job, after you have emptied your mind, is to slow down and think. To really think, on a regular basis. Ryan Holiday

In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius says, “Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’”. Ryan Holiday

The greats — they protect their sleep because it’s where the best state of mind comes from. They say no to things. They turn in when they hit their limits. Ryan Holiday

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday under stuff rid need wisdom

Get out from under all your stuff. Get rid of it. Give away what you don’t need. Ryan Holiday

If we want more revelations — more insights or breakthroughs or new, big ideas — we have to create more room for them. Ryan Holiday

In order to think clearly, it is essential that each of us figures out how to filter out the inconsequential from the essential. Ryan Holiday

Give yourself space. Give your mind a rest. Want to have less to be mad about? Less to covet or be triggered by? Give more away. Ryan Holiday

We must treat the vessel we inhabit on this planet well — or we will be forced to abandon it early. Ryan Holiday

Order is a prerequisite of excellence. Ryan Holiday

Inspirational Quotes From Stillness Is The Key

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday present saw around wisdom

How much more present we would be if we saw what was around us? Ryan Holiday

Confidence is the freedom to set your own standards and unshackle yourself from the need to prove yourself. Ryan Holiday

Remember, that’s what time is. It’s your life, it’s your flesh and blood, that you can never get back. Ryan Holiday

Weigh advice against the counsel of our convictions. Deliberate without being paralyzed. Ryan Holiday

Don’t let the beauty of life escape you. See the world as the temple that it is. Let every experience be churchlike. Marvel at the fact that any of this exists — that you exist. Even when we are killing each other in pointless wars, even when we are killing ourselves with pointless work, we can stop and bathe in the beauty that surrounds us, always. Ryan Holiday

We have so little control of the world around us, so many inexplicable events created this world, that it works out almost exactly the same way as if there was a god. Ryan Holiday

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday body gift work death burn protect wisdom

The body that each of us has was a gift. Don’t work it to death. Don’t burn it out. Protect the gift. Ryan Holiday

What do we want more of in life? That’s the question. It’s not accomplishments. It’s not popularity. It’s moments when we feel like we are enough. More presence. More clarity. More insight. More truth. More stillness. Ryan Holiday

Life is meaningless to the person who decides their choices have no meaning. Ryan Holiday

Our soul is where we secure our happiness and unhappiness, contentment or emptiness — and ultimately, determine the extent of our greatness. Ryan Holiday

You were given one body when you were born — don’t try to be someone else, something else. Get to know yourself. Build a life that you don’t need to escape from. Ryan Holiday

You don’t solve a maze by rushing through. You have to stop and think. You have to walk slowly and carefully, reining in your energy — otherwise you’ll get hopelessly lost. The same is true for the problems we face in life. Ryan Holiday

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday confident people matters wisdom

Confident people know what matters. They know when to ignore other people’s opinions. Ryan Holiday

[Confidence] needs neither congratulations nor glory in which to revel, because it is an honest understanding of our strengths and weakness that reveals the path to a greater glory: inner peace and a clear mind. Ryan Holiday

There is no such thing as full confidence, or ever-present confidence. We will waver. We will have doubts. Ryan Holiday

Stillness is not an excuse to withdraw from the affairs of the world. Quite the opposite‚ it’s a tool to let you do more good for more people. Ryan Holiday

If we want to be good and feel good, we have to do good… Dive in when you hear the cry for help. Reach out when you see the need. Do kindness where you can. Because you’ll have to find a way to live with yourself if you don’t. Ryan Holiday


Quotes From Historical Figures In Stillness Is The Key

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday work reward cease bhagavad gita wisdom

Work not for the reward; but never cease to do thy work. The Bhagavad Gita

The greatest misfortune is to not know contentment. The Daodejing

I force my mind to concentrate, and keep it from straying to things outside itself. Seneca

Learning must never cease… The noble person who studies widely and examines himself each day will become clear in his knowing and faultless in his conduct. Xunzi

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. Proverbs 16:32

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday essence greatness perception virtue emerson wisdom

The essence of greatness is the perception that virtue is enough. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sleep is the source of all health and energy. Arthur Schopenhauer

Give more. Give what you didn’t get. Love more. Drop the old story. Garry Shandling

It is only ideas gained from walking that have any worth. Friedrich Nietzsche

All of humanity’s problems, stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone. Blaise Pascal

The struggle is great, the task divine — to gain mastery, freedom, happiness, and tranquility. Epictetus

stillness is the key quotes summary ryan holiday knowing think ignore important job wisdom

Knowing what not to think about. What to ignore and not to do. It’s your first and most important job. Thich Nhat Hanh

The gentleman makes things his servants. The petty man is servant to things. Xunzi

The mind tends toward stillness but is opposed by craving. Lao Tzu

Nothing is enough for the man, to whom enough is too little. Epicurus

A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention. Herbert Simon

As a well-spent day brings a happy sleep, so a well-employed life brings a happy death. Leonardo da Vinci

Summary Of Stillness Is The Key

  • Stillness Is The Key is a book for you if you feel overwhelmed and want more slowness, silence, and purpose in your life.
  • 3 key takeaways from Stillness Is The Key
    • Society tells you: “be busy and go fast”. But your soul needs space, beauty, and time.
    • You become more productive, happy, and successful if you learn to be still and let go.
    • Simplify your life: walk in nature, give stuff you don’t use, journal, think, say no more often, spend time alone, sleep more, have routines, etc.
  • What did I like about this book? It was filled with inspiring stories, not just science and facts. (And we remember stories more than facts)
  • What didn’t I like about this book? Ryan Holiday didn’t clearly state the steps/process to have more stillness, besides mentioning “take long walks”, “sleep more”, and “journal”.
  • All-in-all, this book is a 9/10. Read it to learn from historical figures, Stoicism, Eastern philosophy, and Western philosophy, and more.

Buy the book here: AudioPaperbackHardcover

Video Summary By Ryan Holiday Himself

Further Readings

Chapters From Stillness Is The Key

Here are the 28 chapters from Stillness Is The Key.

Use them as mantras and sources of inspiration.

Part 1: Mind

Become present
Limit your inputs
Empty the mind
Slow down, think deeply
Start journaling
Cultivate silence
Seek wisdom
Find confidence, avoid ego
Let go

Part 2: Spirit

Choose virtue
Heal the inner child
Beware desire
Bathe in beauty
Accept a higher purpose
Enter relationships
Conquer anger
All is one

Part 3: Body

Say no
Take a walk
Build a routine
Get rid of your stuff
Seek solitude
Be a human being
Go to sleep
Find a hobby
Beware escapism
Act bravely

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Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal.

A few years later, he started his first website to share his love of quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, husband, and INFJ.

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, bananas, SEO, human potential, and education.

You can find him on X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Last update

December 17, 2022

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