The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday – [PDF Download]

We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn’t be this way. There is a formula for success that’s been followed by the icons of history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S.

Grant to Steve Jobs—a formula that lets them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding triumphs we all seek.

These men and women were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted. Their success came from timeless philosophical principles laid down by a Roman emperor who struggled to articulate a method for excellence in any and all situations.

This book reveals that formula for the first time—and shows us how we can turn our own adversity into advantage. 

The Obstacle Is The Way – PDF

stoicism: the ancient philosophy that teaches mental endurance in the face of hardship. Ryan Holiday explores this outstanding philosophy and how it can help us in our everyday lives in The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage.

So: I flat out loved this book! Stoicism, to paraphrase Holiday, is hard-won wisdom forged in the crucible of human experience, and its lessons are enormously valuable. In brief, they are:

to do what is within our power and to accept what isn’t; to find the right action, you must find the right perspective – this is almost always to find the positive in everything that happens to us;

learn from mistakes – failure is instructional; not to get overwhelmed by the bigger picture, to focus on the here and now, and to persevere; to be calm and resilient when faced with problems – be objective before acting.

I was surprised to discover that a lot of ways of thinking I already use in my own life are traced back to Stoicism. Maybe I liked this book so much because of bias confirmation?

Or maybe such ideas are ubiquitous because they make so much sense – live each day like it’s your last, don’t worry about what others are doing and focus on yourself, think positively, etc.

There’s more obvious but it comes down to: it’s all in your head. And I couldn’t agree more with the idea that philosophy should be practical rather than the preserve of academics only interested in sniffing each other’s farts.

The best thing about this very humanist worldview is that it spurs you on to be the best possible you who then goes on to do things, rather than stagnate in fear, depression, sybaritic behaviors, etc.

Holiday relates these lessons through the lives of some of history’s most famous adherents to the philosophy from the Ancients, like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus, and Demosthenes, to the modern-day, like Tom Hanks, Steve Jobs, and Barack Obama.

I had no idea that former US presidents Andrew Johnson and James Garfield started their careers as a tailor and school janitor respectively but it makes where they got to eventually all the more impressive, and they used stoicism to get themselves there.

I won’t run through the list of other famous names and their stories or the more nuanced takes on the philosophy here – if you’re interested, read the book itself – but suffice it to say that I enjoyed it all.

The Obstacle is the Way is a fantastic overview of and introduction to a remarkable philosophy that has impressed itself on me completely – genuinely helpful and inspiring stuff! This is rocket fuel for the mind.

Download The PDF

Author Ryan Holiday
Book Title The Obstacle Is The Way
Language English
Pages 220
Size 9.19 MB

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