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The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph Hardcover – May 1, 2014
The 30 Best Self Help Books
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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
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.
And as for the content? Well, let's just say that on a number of occasions, I caught myself thinking "Wow, this changes everything." I almost never finish reading the books I buy (because they usually fall short of expectation), but I read every single page of this one like a desert survivor drinks water. I also don't typically re-read books, but for this one I will gladly make an exception.
This is my #1 book recommendation for anyone facing challenges and would like to change their perspective (and thus actions) on how to deal with them. Without a doubt, this book deserves 5-stars.
It scores a 4.6 on Amazon with 899 reviews and a 4.09 on Goodreads with 820 reviews. I try to make it a practice of only checking out reviews after I've read a book so I don't have any preconceived notions about what I'm getting into. I'm glad I did that here because some of the lower reviews were blistering on this one and I may not have picked it up.
I enjoyed this one for it's simplicity and the tales interwoven throughout the book of famous individuals who overcame adversity to find great success. I was aware of many of them but learned of a few more along the way.
The book is divided into three parts that describe some of the tenants of Stoic philosophy. Part I is on perception which focuses on how we view obstacles. The key piece here is that obstacles should be viewed as opportunities to learn.
Part II is all about action. This one is pretty self-explanatory. When we come across adversity we just need to keep moving and pushing through tough times. Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction. I couldn't agree more on this theme.
Part III is on will. This one again is fairly self-explanatory but Ryan makes a point of distinguishing between persistence and perseverance with the focus aimed to be on the latter.
Throughout the book you'll find great snippets from some of the great Stoic philosophers like Seneca and Marcus Aurelius along with quotes from more recent notables such as Thoreau, Nietzsche, and Teddy Roosevelt.
This book flows well and can be read in one evening. Part I was the most enjoyable part for me and it slowed up a little for parts II and III. It's definitely a great book to pick up for anyone that's going through any adversity. It gives good ideas on how to overcome and the antidotes provide good examples of those who have flipped adversity and obstacles around to attain great success.
Oddly enough, many of the most successful people I know and associate with have gone through some kind of life struggle and it's been a key piece of why they've found success. How are you handling the adversity in your life? Are you using it as an excuse or are you using it as an opportunity to learn and grow? How you handle these obstacles may well determine your future. Choose wisely my friends!