I read this paragraph in Kierkegaard’s amazing essay “The Present Age.” It fits so perfectly as a meditation or a note to oneself.

“Only someone who knows how to remain essentially silent can really talk—and act essentially. Silence is the essence of inwardness, of the inner life. Mere gossip anticipates real talk and to express what is still in thought weakens action by forestalling it. But someone who can really talk because he knows how to remain silent, will not talk about a variety of things but about one thing only.”

I feel like it expresses everything I tried (and mostly failed) to say here, here, here and so many other times. There is something immediately humbling and settling about seeing someone translate and elaborate what you’d never have been able to do, like a sigh of relief. Because ultimately the only reason we try to mess with these ideas is to help ourselves understand something and now we do.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.