Why This Stoic Philosophy Expert Doesn’t Believe in Setting Goals

9 Jul 2024


Best-selling author Ryan Holiday told GQ how he wrote 16 books with a relatively low-key schedule: “You can be a very successful, creative, artistic person and keep banker’s hours—or better.”

For “Routine Excellence,” GQ asks creative, successful people about the practices, habits, and routines that get them through their day.

Last month, the author Ryan Holiday released his sixteenth book in the last twelve years: Right Thing, Right Now: Good Values. Good Character. Good Deeds. It is, like most of Holiday’s books, about Stoicism, the ancient philosophy whose bible is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and whose central idea is “what matters is not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens to you,” which has proven enticing for a modern world that feels increasingly chaotic and unpredictable.

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