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“The Purgatory of the Idiot”

vs. The School of Genius


As you probably noticed if you’ve been following along, I recently rebooted the PhilosophersNotes TV series.

(Check it out on the App, on the site, on YouTube, on Instagram TV, on Facebook, on the podcast, and wherever else you mindfully consume your media!)

As part of that relaunch after the two-year hiatus, I had a TON of fun going through some of my favorite books from the last couple years.

We’re having fun shipping a new PNTV every single day for 101+ days. So, as you can imagine, I was in full-immersion mode dusting off the old Notes and prepping and filming PNTVs in our new barn-studio set up.

It was EPIC.

One of my favorite books to revisit was Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday.

As I’ve said many times, I LOVE everything Ryan creates. Check out our Notes on The Obstacle Is the Way, The Ego Is the Enemy, and The Daily Stoic. (And check out The Daily Stoic and The Daily Dad emails for some daily inspiration. If I did email, I’d get those.)


Today I want to chat about one particular passage from Stillness Is the Key. Then we’ll spend a little more time on some other brilliant thoughts over the next week or so.

I’m laughing as I get ready to share this…

Here we go.


First, a little more context.

Ryan’s book is, of course, all about helping us tap into the power of quieting our minds and connecting with our souls via STILLNESS.

One of the ways we do that is, of course, by creating large chunks of time to be by ourselves with our own thoughts and no inputs.


With that, I offer this.

Ryan says: “If solitude is the school of genius, as the historian Edward Gibbon put it, then the crowded, busy world is the purgatory of the idiot.”


That’s Today’s +1.

Let’s make our way through the crowded, busy world and find our way to the school of genius.


You know the drill.

Smartphones in airplane mode out of sight and out of touch. Go Deep.


You know the drill.