The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle Is the Way

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” — Marcus AureliusWe 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 let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding ...

Details The Obstacle Is the Way

TitleThe Obstacle Is the Way
Release DateMay 1st, 2014
GenrePhilosophy, Nonfiction, Self Help, Business, Personal Development, Psychology

Reviews The Obstacle Is the Way

  • Lenny D
    Great advice, everyone: overcome adversity. Just do it! For example, if you have a contract from Penguin to write a self-help book but you have absolutely nothing to say, don't fret. This is an opportunity. You interned for a guy who wrote an anecdote-based guide to being powerful. There's no need to reinvent the wheel! Lay down that same track.Aside from some of the facts within the actual anecdotes—on which I don't trust he's done appropriate...
  • Marcus
    This isn't much more than a superficial repackaging of stoicism combined with some semi-interesting anecdotes and a whole lot of trite motivational affirmations. The book is written in the style of Holiday's mentor, Robert Greene, but where Greene does something rare and surprising by compensating for his lack of personal experience with deep and compelling research, The Obstacle is the Way falls flat. The anecdotes are common and superficial and...
  • Jazzmin Hunter
    About as useful as starting with a list of amputees, picking out only the successful ones, getting their stories, and then writing a book called "Having a Limb Chopped Off is the Way".
  • J.F. Penn
    This is an intelligent self-help book packed with examples from history of people who made it through adversity into greatness. It also offers a system for approaching life as a more average person, turning obstacles into advantages, and using relentless persistence to achieve what you want. We all face obstacles in our lives, what matters is how we perceive them and work with them to move on. "When we aim high, pressure and stress obligingly com...
  • Brad Feld
    I don’t know Ryan Holiday, but I heard of this book from Tim Ferriss and was intrigued by the description so I decided to dose myself in some stoicism. Dynamite book – I’m glad I put the time in. Holiday covers the topic well in a very accessible way.
  • Heather
    This book was a fucking obstacle. Now I can share the way: Don't bother.
  • Eric Gardner
    Early in the book Holiday writes, “This is not a book of gushing, hazy optimism…There will be no folksy saying or cute but utterly ineffectual proverbs.”He is partially right. There aren't many folksy sayings, but the next 200 pages features a mixture of ineffectual proverbs and utterly incomplete historical rehashes. Holiday is an accomplished thinker and writer, but this book will not give you a comprehensive insight into success or stoic...
  • Tim Nowotny
    Maybe I got into it with too much background of the author.Knowing and linking much of the Tim Ferris stuff I had read the blog post of "How to do a bestseller" which this applies without shame. That in itself would be no bad thing. The bad thing for me starts when there is no depth in this book. It is like having heard a good quote and repeating it over and over and over again.I like the author and I like stoism. But there is so much more than "...
  • Isaiah Hankel
    The Obstacle is the Way digs into how knowledge and reason are in fact the highest good, as well as how to stay indifferent to pleasure and pain and how to respond to the vicissitudes of fortune objectively. The key is to not let your emotions color your perception of the world.Ryan not only provides a great review of stoicism, he does an excellent job at articulating exactly how this school of thought can be applied to any problems that you migh...
  • Andrew McMillen
    I don't know whether the author intended it to be read as such, but to me this is nothing if not a motivational book. Rooted in actionable philosophy that seeks to flip readers' perception of any problematic event into an opportunity, 'Obstacle''s inner message is that, ultimately, the only thing standing between success and failure is yourself. His writing style here is sharp, succinct and authoritative, and clearly influenced by the approach of...
  • Canadian Reader
    This is a trite, flippant book that does a great disservice to the deep philosophy of the stoics. Replete with references to tycoons and millionaires, it is largely self-help in perky, upbeat, you-can-do-it, rah-rah language. The essential premise of stoicism--that sometimes the only choice you have when you are faced with a dire situation is the attitude or philosophy of acceptance that you can bring to it--has been warped into "there is nothing...
  • Olivier Goetgeluck
    Ryan Holiday has been one of my greatest mentors in life - even though he doesn't know it, his blog starting in 2007 has been a tremendous influence on my life. I've read a lot of books based on his monthly recommendations and he got me started on researching the stoic school of philosophy myself. I will now recommend this book to everyone who wants to get an introduction to stoicism. "To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, no...
  • Narin
    Taking the reader through a practical and extremely balanced approach for handling failure, The Obstacle is the Way is a must-read for anyone who has struggled with crippling self-doubt, self-pity, and ennui. Through the wisdom of the Stoics and the example of history, Ryan Holiday reminds us that even great setbacks and obstacles are not the end of the world. Rather, they can become the fuel for a life well-lived. If we so choose.As someone who ...
  • Mohammad
    سالها پیش یک دوره آموزشی در مورد تندخوانی رو نگاه میکردم. از خود مجموعه چیز زیادی یاد نگرفتم. به درد نمیخورد. اما در کنار این محصول چند تا مصاحبه به عنوان اشانتیون (بونس) گذاشته بود. یکی از این مصاحبهها با یک آقایی بود که در مورد اصل بنیادی کسب ثروت حرف...
  • Alexander Anderson
    The formula: repackage a lot of great quotes, mostly from stoic philosophy. Tie together in a small, convenient carry-along parcel that will appeal to a strategically selected customer base. Add annotation of little value to the works of other writers and great men. Throw in the single beat of a drum with the same message over and over, so that we get it. Perform the aforementioned feat of reverse prestidigitation without bringing the material to...
  • Kingshuk Mukherjee
    Everyone has written excellent reviews so I'll keep mine short.This book is stoicism 101, and resiliency 101. When you feel fear, doubt, lost- this is a book that will remind you that your problems are not unique- plenty of people have suffered worse, and flourished because of it. It may be difficult to wrap our minds around some of these ideas in today's coddled, soft, comfortable society. But cultivating grit, strength, resilience has never bee...
  • Bill
    This book is to Stoicism what a Lipton Iced Tea is to a glass of ice water: they share some substance, but the former is saccharine sweet and diluted while the later is bracing and clear.I can't assess how good an introduction this is to Stoicism for one not acquainted with it. I would argue, however, that Stoicism doesn't require an introduction. Part of the beauty of the "Enchiridion" or "The Discourses" of Epictetus is their clarity and straig...
  • Pedro Vasconcelos
    Too much vaporware. Some interesting ideas, some nice stoic quotes, but overall it's more like a very long, feel good, bland, blog post. Also, most examples of historic figures or famous people, suffer greatly from selection or confirmation bias. Life is complex and most of the time you cannot pick examples of successful people and attribute their success to specific causes. A lot of the real life examples in this book felt like they were shaped ...
  • Peter Goutis
    I really wanted to like this. Ryan seems like a smart guy. But I just found it tedious to get through. It was very repetitive and "cheerleady" (okay, I know that's not a word).I can summarize this book in a few words: Put on your big boy pants.Push on. And do the right thing.Toward the end of the book, in the recommended reading, Ryan states not to read the books about Stoicism but to read the originals. The books about Stoicism aren't worth chec...
  • J.F. Penn
    How to turn every obstacle into an advantage. An exploration of why things can be difficult and the best way to approach obstacles in terms of attitude and action. Full of classical quotes and historical stories, this is weightier than most self help. Certainly no fast read, but one to make you think. "We shouldn't listen too closely to what people say. We'll find ourselves erring on the side of accomplishing nothing."
  • Anthony Arvanitakis
    Το καλύτερο βιβλίο που διάβασα το 2014.Και ίσως το δευτερο καλύτερο βιβλίο που έχω διαβάσει τα τελευταία χρόνια. Οποιος περνάει φάση αβεβαιότητας, έχει βαρεθεί τις ψευτοδικαιολογίες που δημιουργούμε μόνοι μας, και θελει μια έξτρα δόση αυτοπεποίθε...
  • Dave Ricchiazzi
    Picked this up after I heard the author speak on a podcast, and thought it would be worth looking into, at the very least for a refresher on the upshots of stoicism. This book contradicts itself, leaves gaping holes in its practical advice, and is yet another apology for the idea that "successful people are successful because they're better people than everyone else". The author recognizes that there are many factors in life which are out of a pe...
  • Heidi The Hippie Reader
    The Obstacle is the Way is a quick overview of Stoicism, how the author applies that philosophy to his life, and how folks throughout history have used Stoicism to surmount obstacles in their way. I rather liked it but I haven't read the originals (yet) or know much about the topic beyond this book. I would be interested to see what close friends of mine, who claim to be Stoics, have to say about it. Nudge, nudge, Brad Wagnon. Like other philoso...
  • Vadims Savjolovs
    This book contains superficially interpreted and simplified ideas of the Stoic philosophy and interconnects them with the anecdotes and modern life examples. Thats it. You will not find there any original idea or even analysis of the Stoicism. Author repeats the same things again and again seasoned with the names and quotes of the great philosophers.
  • Aalaa
    what stands in the way is the wayMarcus Aurelius
  • Michael Obiora
    This book was written by Ryan Holiday, who is described as an author, marketer, and writer. He is also referred to as a “media strategist.” So, I’m still not exactly sure what he does, but I was particularly drawn to The Obstacle is the Way because the books’ author is only twenty-six years old. I’ve always been a little bit wary of any self-help type book, but I wanted to read a take on it written by somebody very close to my age.I thi...
  • David Huff
    I have to admit, the paradoxical title caught my attention: “The Obstacle Is The Way” is a maxim that, on the surface, is more than a little counter-intuitive. Yet, from these opening quotes of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, penned in 170 A. D., I was all in: “Our actions may be impeded … but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes th...
  • Daniel Taylor
    Do you see adversity as a problem to avoid? Or as part of your journey?In The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday makes the ancient Stoic philosophy relevant today.The book has three parts. Part one asks you to change the way you think. Part two drives you to act. The final part deals with the will and how to strengthen it so you can act on what matters to you.Ultimately, Holiday helps you see that philosophy is not an abstract concept. Philosophy ...
  • Miguel Tavares
    This book doesn't pull its punches.From the get-go, Ryan Holiday keeps reminding us that life is probably better if it is lived, rather than whined about or procrastinated. Backed by a lot of (stoic) historical quotes and examples, he presents a really nice introduction to stoicism, what it means to be a stoic and, coming down to brass tacks, what we should (in his and many other historical figures' opinion) be doing instead of complaining that l...
  • Mars Cheung
    This volume was recommended to me by a friend. I've certainly heard of Stoic philosophy and also of Marcus Aurelius. The material written in this book now inspires me to read Seneca and Marcus Aurelius's Meditations.As a self-help book, it definitely made for a fast read. Numerous examples of how to view circumstances from different perspectives, how to choose responses rather than be driven by emotion... I didn't give the book higher than three ...