- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio; 1 edition (May 1, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591846358
- ISBN-13: 978-1591846352
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,048 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph Hardcover – May 1, 2014
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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“The book on stoicism that’s taking the NFL by storm.”
“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
“An absolute must-read.”
—Jimmy Soni, managing editor of Huffington Post, author of Rome’s Last Citizen
“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
About the Author
RYAN HOLIDAY is a bestselling author and media strategist. After dropping out of college at nineteen to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multiplatinum musicians. He served as director of marketing at American Apparel for many years, where his campaigns have been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube, and Google and written about in Ad Age, the New York Times, and Fast Company.
His first book, Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator—which the Financial Times called an “astonishing, disturbing book”—was a debut bestseller and is now taught in colleges around the world. He is also the author of Growth Hacker Marketing, Ego is the Enemy and The Daily Stoic. He lives in Austin, Texas, and writes for Thought Catalog and the New York Observer.
Top customer reviews
We might not be emperors, but the world is still constantly testing us. It asks: Are you worthy? Can you get past the things that inevitably fall in your way? Will you stand up and show us what you're made of?
Plenty of people have answered this question in the affirmative. And a rarer breed still has shown that they not only have what it takes, but they thrive and rally at every such challenge. That the challenge makes them better than if they'd never faced the adversity at all.
Now it's your turn to see if you're one of them, if you'll join their company.
This book shows you the way." ~ Ryan Holiday from The Obstacle Is the Way
Learning to turn our biggest challenges into our biggest opportunities is what this book is all about--"The timeless art of turning trials into triumph."
Marcus Aurelius tells: "The impediment to action advances the action. What stands in the way becomes the way." In short, the obstacle is the way.
Ryan Holiday is a brilliant writer (and guy) and this book is a *really* smart, lucid, compelling, inspiring manual on the art of living invincibly.
Ryan masterfully integrates ancient Stoic wisdom from Marcus Aurelius + Seneca + Epictetus and brings that wisdom to life via inspiring stories featuring everyone from John D. Rockefeller, Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt to Amelia Earhart and Steve Jobs.
My book is all marked up and peppered with "wow"s and "YES!"s. If you're enjoying this Note, I think you'll really dig it.
The book has three parts: Perception + Action + Will.
Some Big Ideas from this book:
1. Perception - Key #1: Think clearly.
2. Action - Key #2: Act correctly.
3. Will - Key #3: Accept + endure reality.
4. Panic Button - Don't hit it.
5. Post-Traumatic Growth - Is much better than PTSD.
To find 250+ more reviews visit http://bit.ly/BrianReviews
It turned out to be a fresh perspective. It centers on actionable lessons and tactics from stoicism.
"It’s simple: a method and a framework for understanding, appreciating, and acting upon the obstacles life throws at us. "
Telling someone to "keep your cool" and "control your emotions" isn't bad advice. Yet, without context, it is hard to act upon. Ryan elaborates on the concept, providing examples of success stories throughout history.
He also points out that, when faced with a slight/setback, getting mad and taking the "why me" mindset is counterproductive.
The idea, no matter how unjust or tragic the situation, is to calm down and to push your way through it. Examples from history, including Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison, show that our 21st century problems are usually minuscule in comparison:
"... s*** that’s a lot worse than whatever we’re dealing with. I’m talking physical disabilities, racial discrimination, battles against overwhelmingly superior armies. But those people didn’t quit. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves. They didn’t delude themselves with fantasies about easy solutions. They focused on the one thing that mattered: applying themselves with gusto and creativity"
When it comes to battle, most of us believe confrontations to be direct and head-on, yet this almost always isn't the case:
"a study of some 30 conflicts comprising more than 280 campaigns from ancient to modern history, the brilliant strategist and historian B. H. Liddell Hart came to a stunning conclusion: In only 6 of the 280 campaigns was the decisive victory a result of a direct attack on the enemy’s main army. Only six. That’s 2 percent."
We can all agree that having a lot of will (willpower) is a good thing. Yet, Ryan proposes that we may not understand what it really means:
"Too often people think that will is how bad we want something. In actuality, the will has a lot more to do with surrender than with strength. Try “God willing” over “the will to win” or “willing it into existence,” for even those attributes can be broken. True will is quiet humility, resilience, and flexibility."
Two other desirable traits to have are persistence and perseverance. What is the difference? Persistence is oriented to a short term obstacle and perseverance is about the mindset for the long haul:
"But a ten-year voyage of trials and tribulations. Of disappointment and mistakes without giving in. Of checking your bearings each day and trying to inch a little closer to home—where you’ll face a whole other host of problems once you arrive. Ironhearted and ready to endure whatever punishment the Gods decide you must, and to do it with courage and tenacity in order to make it back to Ithaca? That’s more than persistence, that’s perseverance."
"Persistence is an action. Perseverance is a matter of will. One is energy. The other, endurance."
In conclusion, every obstacle is an opportunity. Turn "s*** into sugar". Ryan does a fantastic job showing "philosophy’s true use: as an operating system for the difficulties and hardships of life ..."
I am already applying learnings from this book against my own obstacles.
Most recent customer reviews
Mr. Holiday either denies or doesn't conceptualize how Christianity can and does play a part in being at peace with...Read more