Review of Stillness is the Key


Getting closer and closer to caught up on my book reviews here on the blog. If you weren't aware I am only reviewing my non-fiction readings of the last year and a half so far. The majority of literature I consume actually is fiction. I have always enjoyed reading but honestly learning while doing so is a pretty recent discovery. Anyways, into Stillness. I very much enjoyed this book. The more recent wave of sociology or psychology adjacent books in the last 20 years has been shaped pretty hard by Malcolm Gladwell's genius writings in my opinion. Gladwell's style of presenting an argument, then supplementing it with one or two anecdotes from interesting real people has been adopted by so many. Ryan Holiday and Cal Newport are excellent examples of utilizing this strategy with extreme success. The central argument in Stillness is the Key is that there needs to be more value placed upon behaviors that observe a sense of less. Whether its zoning out and just doing a mindless task for a few hours (like Churchill's famous bricklaying habit), meditation, reading a book, or even just napping. The arguments presented by Holiday of different utilization of "less" or sometimes the failure of constant "more" is hard to refute. It seems a simple notion that you cannot have hard work without "laziness" or easy work. However Holiday shows that this is not just from the rules of relativity but a fact of human limits. A moment of can lead to greater efficiency and avoid many of the devastating, often hidden consequences of one pushing themself to their absolute limit. One of my favorite examinations conducted by Holiday here is Tiger Woods. I used to be really into a video game called "League of Legends" and followed the esport of it vigorously. Many of the professionals in LoL after retiring from the pro scene would begin their streaming career. League of Legends is famously a "toxic" video game with extreme cases of flame. The cross-team chat in that game is ROUGH and I had done more than my fair share. I am not proud of it and I probably wouldn't be the nicest person again if I picked it up. I don't think I am superior than the normal LoL player but I do think its rather because of the most iconic players that toxicity is so common place. The most prolific streamers are current or ex professionals and sometimes what isn't talked about is the mindset you need to become the best of the best at age. Maybe need isn't  the right word but it is very difficult to become a top performer in the world without the mindset that nearly all these young players adopt. One of ego, and self-centerness. The top viewed players in this game are famous for their flame. If you watch any of these top streams its very common to see flame to other teammates either in the in-game chat or to the streamer's audience. Being able to admit your own mistakes isn't rare but its also not common. I again hope I don't sound condescending or superior to these streamers or the LoL community in general. I used to be a flamer and I could never have hit the level of skill shown by these people. I especially couldn't have hit that level of skill without adopting the same mindset of egomania that they have. Mike Tyson, who at an unfathomably young age became the undisputed (seriously. I cannot express how good Mike Tyson was) best in the world, said "I have no self-esteem, but the biggest ego in the world." This is the mentality I think it takes to hit the absolute number 1 spot but then when these people become the major spotlight and influence of the sport, the community as a whole sees it as the acceptable and best behavior. Alright, well that is enough of sounding  like a concerned dad who doesn't understand videogames. I promise I am 22. Also wow am I bad about talking about the book I am reviewing in the book review. Anywho. Great book, its short and to the point and just very pleasant to read. Get more stillness in your life. The quiet moments are not wasted ones.  


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