In his fourth book, Ego Is The Enemy, Ryan Holiday offers his readers one of life’s most valuable gifts: The chance to learn from other people’s mistakes.

Examining the rise and fall of some of history’s most notable names — Jackie Robinson, Ben Franklin, Alexander The Great, Howard Hughes, to name a few — the book serves as a roadmap to managing the one thing that has ruined countless careers, relationships, and lives — our own ego.

His definition is not meant in the Freudian sense, but as, “an unhealthy belief in our own importance. Arrogance. Self-centered ambition… The need to be better than, more than, recognized for, far past any reasonable utility — that’s ego.”

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We’ve all been Arturo Bandini.

Writing out our life on the typewriter in our head, filling pages with bravado and charm. Dishing out dialogue we can never find in the moment. Delusions of passion filling our imagination while we’re alone only to vanish once a beautiful woman stands before us.

We’ve all waited for Camilla to throw rocks at our window in the middle of the night.

The American classic that almost never was, Ask The Dust, by John Fante was published in 1939. But mixed reviews and the novels soon-to-be bankrupt publisher kept it out of the limelight until around 1980 when Charles Bukowski declared, “Fante was my God.”

There are many themes in Ask The Dust– catholic guilt, race identity, 1930’s Los Angeles.

More than anything, it’s a love story.

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Zero to One, by Peter Thiel, had been sitting in a pile of books next to my nightstand for almost a year before I cracked it open. I’d heard it was great from a number of people much smarter than myself but had put it off.

Thiel offers many interesting ideas, but his main principle is this: Improving upon something that already exists takes us from Zero to N. Only when we create something truly new and groundbreaking do we get from Zero to One. Ideas that have the potential to change the world are what’s needed to take the future from Zero to One

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When it comes to beating procrastination and overcoming excuses, this book is the bible. Steven Pressfield outlines ways to beat what he calls, “The Resistance,” in short, painfully relatable chapters.

For anyone that perpetually puts the most important work off, or struggles to start creative endeavors, this is the best books around. I keep this book facing out on my bookshelf as a personal reminder to keep fighting the good fight. Anytime I waste time with mindless scrolling on my phone or let busy work take priority, I think about this book and get back to what’s important.

For anyone struggling is writer’s block, start with this bo

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The best way to accomplish big things while keeping life balance is by creating rituals. All the greats had some form of a ritual in order to produce work and keep (somewhat) sane. Whether or not realize you it, you have rituals in place now. Some help you and some are probably setting you back.

Daily Rituals is a collection of the world’s best writers, artists, and creators daily habits. It’s “how they create (and avoid creating) their creations.” I keep this book nearby for finding new ideas and as a reminder that I’m not alone in the struggle to make time to create.

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