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That was what was so alarming about the advice he was giving. They were saying, 'Look, we've got to bomb the hell out of Cuba.
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Like, what is Russia going to do when we invade them? And it was almost--it was clear that a lot of these advisers, these generals, had actually never thought that far in advance. And what Kennedy was able to do was go, 'Look, we've got to think about what they're going to do in response to what we're going to do; and then what we're going to do in response to that.
The World’s Timeless Wisdom from “Stillness is the Key” by Ryan Holiday (Book Summary)
It's the sixth step. Ryan Holiday: Because none of us are going to be around to see that. And so, in deciding to see it that way, it allowed him to then look at the immediate choices in front of him and go, 'Okay. Let's do what we think is right here, that we think preserves the most options for our opponent, and then not get carried away about what our secret plan is,' or [?
Silence, Stillness, and the Art of Being
He was like, 'Look, my main thing is I just don't want the world to be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. So, I'm basically willing to do everything and anything that's going to get us to that point. Or, prevent that from happening. What Kennedy was saying is, again, is, 'We put this into effect. Now let's wait and see how they respond to this. If I told you Buddha had said that, you'd go, 'Oh, that's very profound. We want to use, like let's say the present moment is 60 seconds, let's use all 60 of those seconds, right? And if we can do that cumulatively that's going to give us more time than the people who are just sort of whipping through one thing after another.
Russ Roberts: Yeah; it makes me want to take a second break here, just to see what that would feel like.
But you as a listener, of course, you can do that any time. There's a little Pause button. You pause it, just wait a minute and think about something that was said. I think that's a bizarre aspect of podcasting--that not only are you not going to do that, listener; you've got us at 1.
It's just an interesting aspect of life. All my kids listen at 1. Not to EconTalk. They are generally not listeners. I should just reveal that right now, out of shame and humiliation. But the videos and audios that they do listen to, they tend to listen at high speed.
Interesting the idea of either going at normal speed or actually pausing and thinking about what we've just said. Ryan Holiday: It's funny: like, I know that technology exists, but it--I think this is a virtue--it doesn't occur to me that there is a speed that a conversation is happening. To me, a conversation simply is what it is. Like, when I read a book, I don't think, 'How can I speed this along? How can I get this over?
I don't try to speed it up. I don't try to speed sex up, either. I don't try to scarf my meals down to be done with them as soon as humanly possible. I want to experience them. I want all of it. And I think--again, that's that idea: when you look at the really wise people, people we really admire, there is a deliberate slowness, almost, to how they behave and the demeanor and--to me, a sign of youthfulness is that sort of overabundance of enthusiasm and energy which is often getting you into unnecessary trouble, and a sign of maturity is a slowing down and a savoring and an ability to be a bit more philosophical and appreciative and present.
And, to me, the word for that that I use is 'stillness. People who, when we get a peak into their lives, whether it's on television or, you know, they are a friend of ours or whatever, who lack stillness, those are the people that we go, 'Oh, man, it does not seem fun to be them. That does not seem like winning. Russ Roberts: Well, I want to mention again: When I'm on silent meditation retreat, I eat mindfully, which means that I look at my food before I put it in my mouth.
I savor in as rich a way as I can; and I notice the smell of it, I notice the texture, the different parts of my palate and tongue that it touches, and the different flavors. And I love that. Well, 'delicious' is an obvious word in this case, too. And yet when I come back from retreat I eat my food quickly, while I'm reading something on the Internet. It's just interesting how hard that is to actually do. Russ Roberts: But I want to pay you a compliment that may sound like an insult, Ryan. I think you're 32 years old. Is that correct? Russ Roberts: I know that because you wrote an essay on Medium, something like "32 Lessons on Turning 32" ["32 Thoughts From a Year-Old"], an essay we'll link to because it's really a wonderful essay.
So, I know you're I'm 64, which is kind of fun--I'm twice as old as you, exactly--almost exactly. I was born a few months later in the calendar year than you, but basically I'm twice as old as you are. And you might be the oldest year-old I know. You're very unlike the other year-olds I know; you just revealed that because you said, you don't speed up your audio files, and you don't try to find ways to read more quickly, and so on.
So, it's sort of a--you're an old man, in a certain dimension. And, I mean it as a compliment, because I know I'm not twice as wise as you are.
I might be a little wiser. But I might not be. You might be wiser than I am, but you're certainly wiser than your years. And part of the reason that's true is that you've read a lot; you've thought a lot about these issues.
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- Detailed Summary of Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday | Sloww.
I didn't for a long, long time. And I've enjoyed becoming aware of them; and I also have some regret--which I try not to marinate in--but, that it was an old age before I started being a little more self-aware. But, you are on a good path, at 32, you're way ahead. Russ Roberts: I don't just think you're just way ahead of me; I think you are ahead of a lot of a lot of people.
But, I think the downside--now I'm going to give you a criticism Russ Roberts: which is, at 32, you might not realize how unnatural many of these admonitions or encouragements or inspirations are for most of us. So, the idea of being still might appeal to people--you might be listening and thinking, 'Yeah, this sounds great. How do I get there from here?
But, there's not--unless I missed it--there's not a lot in your book about how to get better at it, other than just saying, 'You're going to like this a lot. This will make your life better. Ryan Holiday: No; I can. It's actually something that I thought consciously about when I was writing. In the sense that, I'm someone--so, when you talked to me about going on a silent meditation [?
Detailed Summary of Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday | Sloww
I couldn't do that. That, clearly a huge percentage of the population either isn't ready for, or doesn't believe they are ready for; and so it's become sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. People don't meditate. I mean, the amount of times I've been told to meditate and the amount of times I actually sit down and meditate--you know, it's an enormous imbalance[? Ryan Holiday: And so, what I wanted to write the book about was, like, how can we access these things?
How can we talk about it?
Related A Deep and Silent Place: A Key to Stillness and Inner Awareness
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