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There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.
The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
Focusing exclusively on what is in our power magnifies and enhances our power.
The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph Hardcover – May 1, 2014
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"The best one I've read. Ryan Holiday is brilliant. If I had read The Obstacle Is the Way sooner, a few things might have been different."
- Rory McIlroy, 2x PGA Champion
“Follow these precepts and you will revolutionize your life. Read this book!”
—Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art and Gates of Fire
“A book for the bedside of every future—and current—leader in the world.”
—Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power and Mastery
“First came Marcus Aurelius, then Frederick the Great . . . and now there’s you. This surprising book shows you how to craft a life of wonder by embracing obstacles and challenges.”
—Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup
"A very, very good book with lots of examples about people who had to overcome great obstacles to have success."
—Nick Saban, head football coach at the University of Alabama
“In this tight, engaging book, Ryan Holiday shines a bright, powerful light on the path to living and leading well. Read it, learn from it, and get cracking!”
—Nancy F. Koehn, historian and leadership expert, Harvard Business School
“My life has been beset with obstacles. It takes practice (and pain) to surmount them and achieve success. Ryan’s book is a how-to guide for just that.”
—James Altucher, investor and author of Choose Yourself
“Ryan Holiday has written a brilliant and engaging book, well beyond his years. . . . It is invaluable.”
—Honorable Frederic Block, Judge, U.S. District Court
“Even though I was familiar with the basis for this book — the ancient philosophy of stoicism: overcoming obstacles through the practice of wisdom, courage, self-control, and mindfulness — it felt like a revelation when I read it.”
—Allison K. Hill, Los Angeles Daily News
“Tremendous! Go buy every book that Ryan Holiday has written."
—John Tesh, host of national radio show Intelligence for Your Life
About the Author
- Publisher : Portfolio; 1st edition (May 1, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1591846358
- ISBN-13 : 978-1591846352
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.9 x 7.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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One of the most helpful applications of this book is changing the ways I interact with my family of origin. My parents and siblings are anxious, doubtful, and pessimistic. For the most part, I am not. However, for years I've struggled with my own reactions to being around them. Every family holiday or vacation caused me to regress to adolescence, and after each event, it took weeks for me to recover. Through this book, I realized that my reacting to their reactivity was totally ironic. I don't have to react to them. Once I became aware of this, it became a choice. Now, I can choose to see these family events as opportunities to feel grateful for my own equanimity. And when I do lose balance, I can be easy on myself, because I remember that new habits take a while to develop. I can also choose to remove myself from environments that aren't serving me.
Very empowering, very practical. Thank you, Ryan Holiday!
It is definitely an entertaining book and if that is what you are after by all means enjoy. For self improvement and moderate stoic insight it would also be an acceptable and useful addition to ones library.
For deeper exploration and prescriptive tools to start your journey in to Stoicism refer to Donald Robertson's Stoicism and the Art of Happiness. For continuous study and original works look for Epictetus's Discourses and The Enchiridion (My favorites) as well as Seneca's Letters From A Stoic.
For advanced application look to Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. For broadening your sphere look to works by Rufus, Zeno, and Socrates.
So many years, so much pop-psychobabble, yet the ancients had the most pragmatic approach all along. Makes sense, when you stop to think of how much harder and less predictable life was.
Top reviews from other countries
Another example is Rubin Carter: the author compresses his story to the point where it seems like he was a „one man army“ and got out of prison by reading books and sheer will power. Reading more into the story, he had massiv support and even Bob Dylan contributed a song for him which brought his case to the national attention.
Additionally, these stories and the explanations of the author introduce conflicting values, for example: in one chapter about being aggressive and push forward, the author states:
„But let’s ask an honest question: Could you be doing more? You probably could - there’s always more. At minimum, you could be trying harder“
… which is contradicted later with …
„There’s no need to sweat this or feel rushed.“
Finally, there is very little written about failure. There is a small chapter which is called „prepare for none of it to work“ and some sentences about failure are sprinkled across the chapters. The stories does not support failure, because each anecdotal story at the end „wins“ or at least the outcome is „be perseverant and you will reach your goal“. There is even the quote in the book „It’s okay to be discouraged. It’s not okay to quit.“
At the end of the book I had the feeling, that scam companies like Theranos where created with this mindset: it can be done, know you enemies, use their flanks, use their weaknesses, be aggressive, work harder, do the right thing at the right time (which you defined for yourself), don’t accept a no, push through it … and most important: never quit.
If you still reading this review, I would like to recommend you The Art and Power of Acceptance: Your Guide to Inner Peace . It has an identical topic (dealing with obstacles in life) but what I like about it:
- It gives you a framework
- It also work with anecdotal stories, but the stories are there to support and learn the framework
- The author offers instructions like breathing exercises to support the framework
- For me personally the stories where more relatable and „down to earth“
- The author does not shy away from failure
-I used to be the type of guy who had a million different opinions on subjects. Now, I've traded useless opinions for this mindset. Now I have become an extremely Objective person, by taking this philosophy to heart.
-That is all you need to know. Read the preview. Get it.