Ryan Holiday – Ego Is The Enemy

Ryan Holiday is an American author, marketer, and entrepreneur. Ryan is an ultra-savvy media strategist, the former Director of Marketing for American Apparel and a media columnist and editor-at-large for the New York Observer.

00:00 Trailer.
01:27 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:42 Brian’s Introduction.
05:50 Anyone with ambition needs to be wary of ego and manage that.
07:55 Emulating in his life the greatest fighters as the most humble and stoic people.
09:39 Ryan’s journey from 18 to 26.
11:31 The ego struggles with the conundrum of principle or stubbornness.
13:56 Has writing about ego and stoicism set him up for future scrunity?
14:52 Ryan’s definition of ego.
16:13 What Ryan considered before risking a move to New Orleans to write a book.
18:40 How Ryan sets about writing a book.
21:29 Too young to write a book on stoicism?
23:59 Conscious decisions on different cover styles for ‘Trust Me I’m Lying’ and ‘Obstacle’.
25:00 How Ryan uses his own book launches to advise many other authors.
26:07 Biggest mistake authors make when creating and marketing a book.
28:54 Publication ‘Obstacle’ unexpectedly being taken up by the sports community.
31:23 Decision to return to American Apparel at a time of company change and what it taught him.
34:49 Entrepreneurs have to understand that they may be incapable of running what they’ve created.
35.39 Ego can be a positive, but its negatives can jeopardise that.
36:43 How Ryan realised that he was not getting what he wanted out of life.
37:34 Ryan’s work ethic.
38:48 Adrenalising.
40:06 When we are in the throes of ego we say yes to everything.
41:36 Effects of Fatherhood on the ego and work ethic.
45:38 What his tattoos remind him of.
50:39 Illustrations of non-ego from the past.
52:30 Against the trend advice to not follow your passion.
54:20 Truly successful people compete with themselves.
57:34 Actions speak louder than words.
59:99 In an age of modern technology, why is the book still relevant?
1:01:59 Does Ryan prefer people to read his books or listen to an audio version?
1:03:40 Ryan loves books and has a lot. Reading is an essential human activity.
1:05:15 Ryan’s Texas lifestyle and daily routine.
1:08:51 Strategy to avoid panic attacks and adrenalising.
1:09:53 What is a Fight Club Moment?
1:10:45.Ryan’s concept of rock bottom.
1:12:25 Explanation of chapters in his book headed ‘Maintain sobriety. Entitlement, Control and Paranoia.’
1:14:36 Why finish the book with ‘Always love’?
1:16:28 What Ryan would like people to take away from reading ‘Ego is the Enemy’
1:18:26 Ryan can trace back to his worst moments resulting from his ego.
1:20:29 The art of listening requires taking a step back from your own ego.
1:21:36 Taking Ayauasca not an ego trip.
1:24:16 The next book.
1:24:51 Does stoicism play a part in today’s world?
1:26:31 Why did Marcus Aurelias write a book on stoicism?
1:27:25 Ryan’s take on current politics in the USA.
1:30:09 What does the popularity of Trump in America say about the collective ego of Americans?
1:32:00 Which chapters should Trump read in ‘Ego is the Enemy’?
1:32:42 Success secrets.
1:33:40 Phone call to the 20 year old Ryan Holiday.
1:35:13 Best advice he has ever received.
1:37:04 Advice to the 20 year old who would like to be like him.
1:38:25 How to foster a relationship with a mentor.
1:41:39 Brian’s summing up.

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tiagomrfernandes281tahmina.o@gmail.comKierenKirsten ElmesMatheo Galatis Recent comment authors
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The Ego is the Enemy is by far one of the best books on ego. Highly recommended.


Is ego really the enemy though? I imagine that ego is actually incredibly important. For instance, imagine the ego you’d need to have in order to be Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan or Connor McGregor


Having too much ego can lead you to a wrong and lonely path. It is thinking that the world revolves around you and everything is about you, to take it a little further you are the center of the universe. People like Steve Jobs and Michael Jordan are not, in my opinion, egotistic individuals. They followed their passion and inspired people to become and invent great things. Ego is good, so long as you don’t let it control you. Ryan is an incredible writer and reading his books will really help you look at yourself as well as the world… Read more »


Maybe you’re confusing Ego with confidence and attitude.
Confidence and attitude are super important for success, but ego is what going to make you feel entitled, arrogant, hide your mistakes, not see potential in others etc……

Kirsten Elmes

An overwhelmingly comfortable and edifying listen. Just ordered two of Ryan’s books.

Matheo Galatis

My greatest takeaway is that London Real is about the art of listening. Allowing people the opportunity to step back and reflect! Great job!

Erin Lawlor

Love Ryan Holiday in many respects, I think he’s dead wrong about Trump and politics in general. I understand why he’s turned off with Trump’s ego and his inability to let insults slide. But, he is heads and shoulders above Clinton in terms of qualifications. Trump’s qualifications include running very very large businesses where great leadership and working with others is required. He is able to work with others and make adjustments when new information is available. He loves America even more than he loves himself. Trump is the correction that comes around when things go too far to an… Read more »


FAO an Admin:
The itunes/podcast version cuts out at 1hr11mins in. tried deleting and re-downloading.

Jon Waterlow

Yep – same deal for me! Be great to get this fixed!

Elphie Coyle

Well Ryan, I can definitely say your book did in fact change my life. Thankyou! <3

Gabriel González

another video that does not work. I am using firefox

Richard Le Fanu- Grice
Richard Le Fanu- Grice

Thanks Brian for the introduction to a great thinker and researcher!, the audio book sounds good to me, I need to cultivate good daily habits and maximum production from limited daily time, can anyone guide me to some nuggets in the huge catalogue of LondonReal episodes, suggestions on a postcard?

Sylvie Fernandez Robles

Thanks Brian , that was quite captivating.
Ego driven decisions lead to downfall… but then again at what point do one escape the Ego? If ego is the enemy it would imply I am still link to it.
Non attachment vs detachment
What about sweet talking to my ego?
And who’s the master?…
Just thinking loud


DISCLAIMER – I haven’t yet watched this episode – however I find the title of the book, “Ego is the enemy” really interesting… If having an ego (within each of us) is part of the ‘human experience’ then what happens when decide a part of us is the ‘enemy’ – do we go to war with a part of ourselves? Does that not create internal conflict?

Anyhows…Still looking forward to watching this episode and learning more! 🙂


Brian, I think this is the #1 interview you’ve done. It’s so personal to every individual.


Brain: “What should we do after putting down this book?” Sweet question. Thank you.


I was just having a conversation about branding being about my idea vs about me. This book supports that.

Matt Harwood

Superb interview and so eerily timed – Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations arrived in the post yesterday. I love Ryan’s outlook on the world, thank you to you both for sharing.

Michael Frank (Mitch)

Great Interview! I saw there is this trailer of Chris Eubank at the Summit back in March, but where can I watch this? I can’t find it on the Academy…

Philip Kastinger

“I put down this book. What do you want me to do?”
Great question! It’s always exciting to know what the intentions of the author are.

Looking forward to read it.

Philip Kastinger

The book wasn’t easy to digest for my ego, but all the more necessary and healthy. Thank you

Jabaal Elgani-Minizi

I loved the last interview with him!!!!
Hope this one is even better… One of my favorite guest