The Longer I Do This, The Less I Care About Results

Ryan Holiday
6 min readNov 15, 2023

I used to care a lot about how things did.

I think most people are that way.

I remember when my first book, Trust Me I’m Lying, came out I was probably 10% proud of what I’d done and 90% eagerly awaiting for the first week sales to tell me the rest of how proud I should be.

It was interminable, waiting to find out if I hit the bestseller lists.

But as I’ve gone on, I’ve become less and less this way.

It was a slow shift, I think, the product of getting skunked on the list more than a couple times. A result of realizing, as most creators eventually do, that sometimes the thing you think is your best work does the worst, and the thing you threw together in a few minutes suddenly does millions of views or outsells everything else.

I have this recurring image that plays in my mind these days, especially when I am working on a book or a particularly difficult article. I’d close my eyes, think about the project, and there it would be. The image is of an unidentifiable baseball player at the plate. It’s zoomed in like one of those SportsCenter closeups, and the batter is already mid-swing and connecting with the ball. It’s one of those beautiful, old-timey swings like Mickey Mantle or Ted Williams used to take. The front leg extended…



Ryan Holiday

Bestselling author of ‘Conspiracy,’ ‘Ego is the Enemy’ & ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’