The Obstacle Is The Way

By (author)Ryan Holiday

30

The value of this book is that it offers an ancient and profound method and framework for understanding, appreciating, and acting in the face of the obstacles life throws at us.

No doubt, you are trying to get ahead in whatever ‘getting ahead’ means to you. But so often an obstacle seems to stand in your way. Yes, there are a few people who report having planned their charmed life or their business success and had it unfold almost exactly as planned, and with style and elegance. Amazing, but never true. Most people blocked by the obstacles of time, money, connections, opportunity and more, do nothing.
This book has a fascinating take on ‘being stuck’ – it is a primer on how to turn adversity into an advantage.

The “Ancient Art” of the subtitle is referring to the wisdom and insight of the Stoic philosophers. These writings or thoughts influenced all the people Holiday uses as examples of this approach to obstacles of life. The circumstances of these people would leave most disoriented, reactive, torn and even paralyzed. As Holiday shows “some seem to turn those very obstacles, which stymie us, into launching pads for themselves.”
Knowing that there are heroes doesn’t help us to become heroes, but knowing how they became heroes, does. The value of this book is that it offers an ancient and profound method and framework for understanding, appreciating, and acting in the face of the obstacles life throws at us.
Turning obstacles into the way forward takes many forms. For the great Athenian orator, Demosthenes, it was a relentless drive to improve himself through action and practice. For Abraham Lincoln it was humility, endurance, and compassionate will. In each case, all the people cited in this book were not born with the attributes it took to succeed, and many faced unimaginable horrors, from imprisonment to debilitating illnesses, and of course the day-to-day frustrations we all endure.

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