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The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph Hardcover – May 1, 2014
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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.
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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
The gist of the book is that if one applies the principles of Stoicism carefully and mindfully, then no matter what happens (good, bad, or indifferent) then it becomes possible to deal with the highs, lows, and plateaus of life with equal poise and calmness. Obstacles, Holiday posits, represent opportunity, and should be welcomed rather than feared, for they offer us chances to grow and become more than we currently are.
There’s nothing really new here, and I say that without being critical. The tenets around which Holiday builds his case are thousands of years old, being drawn primarily from Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, among others. The great success of the book is its ability to distill these concepts down into usable, everyday ways of thinking which can benefit each and every one of its readers, if they are disciplined enough to apply them to their own lives. It points out (quite correctly) that the problems faced by the average Greek or Roman citizen were, at their core, fundamentally no different than the ones that vex us today, for they are based upon the same old negative emotions: fear, jealousy, anxiety, greed, a desire for celebrity, and so forth. Marcus Aurelius, one of Rome’s five so-called “Good Emperors,” wrestled with all these issues and more on a daily basis, and used Stoicism in order to successfully conquer them…and himself. There are very good reasons why Meditations is still read so widely (and re-read so frequently) today. I have returned to the book regularly ever since I discovered it as a teenager, and will probably do so for as long as I live. These truths are timeless, and invaluable.
Holiday refers to the Stoic philosophy as “an operating system for living,” which seems very apt in this digital day and age. If that is indeed the case, then The Obstacle Is the Way serves as an introductory manual for that operating system, a primer that helps one get to grips with how it works. Some of the complexity and nuance may be left out or abstracted, but the thrust of it is covered succinctly, with plenty of easily understandable contemporary examples to clarify things.
I highly recommend this book to anybody who could use a little help in dealing with the stresses and strains of everyday living…and at the end of the day, isn’t that all of us?