The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage

Ryan Holiday / May 27, 2020
The Obstacle Is the Way The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage A guide not just for overcoming the obstacles that hold us back but for using them for great benefit The great Athenian orator Demosthenes was born with a crippling speech impediment and was robbed of
  • Title: The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage
  • Author: Ryan Holiday
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 132
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • A guide not just for overcoming the obstacles that hold us back but for using them for great benefit The great Athenian orator Demosthenes was born with a crippling speech impediment and was robbed of his inheritance by cruel guardians Samuel Zemurray was a poor roadside fruit peddler pitted against the behemoth United Fruit Company Ulysses S Grant found himself stuck aA guide not just for overcoming the obstacles that hold us back but for using them for great benefit The great Athenian orator Demosthenes was born with a crippling speech impediment and was robbed of his inheritance by cruel guardians Samuel Zemurray was a poor roadside fruit peddler pitted against the behemoth United Fruit Company Ulysses S Grant found himself stuck across the Mississippi river, desperately trying to break into the impenetrable fortress of Vicksburg These icons and many others throughout history from John D Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Richard Wright to Steve Jobs were often placed in nearly impossible situations that turned out to be the platforms for astounding triumphs They were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted Their success in overcoming extreme obstacles was the result of a timeless set of philosophical principles that great men and women have always followed Now Ryan Holiday unpacks those lessons and reframes them for today s world, building on the wisdom of the ancient Stoics and a rich trove of examples He shows us how to turn obstacles into advantages, through controlling our perceptions, swift and energetic action, and true force of will.
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      132 Ryan Holiday
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      Published :2019-03-11T09:41:22+00:00

    About "Ryan Holiday"

      • Ryan Holiday

        Ryan Holiday is media strategist for notorious clients like Tucker Max and Dov Charney After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under the strategist Robert Greene, he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multi platinum musicians He is the Director of Marketing at American Apparel, where his work in advertising was internationally known His strategies are used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube, and Google, and have been written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker, and Fast Company He is the author is Trust Me, I m Lying Confessions of a Media Manipulator , which is due out in July He currently lives in New Orleans, with his rebellious puppy, Hanno.


    1. 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 research since each of them are presented perfunctorily an [...]

    2. This isn t much 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 their ties to Stoicism feel tenuous at best Then, to ma [...]

    3. 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.

    4. 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 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 come along for the ride, so we have to find ways of dealing w [...]

    5. 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.

    6. 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 stoicism, but rather a foolishly short sided view of the world.If [...]

    7. 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 than It is not important what life throws at you, you still can ma [...]

    8. 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 might be facing now as you try to advance your career o [...]

    9. 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 Holiday s mentor and another favourite author of mine [...]

    10. 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 either good or bad, but thinking makes it so Just beca [...]

    11. 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, nor even to found a school it is to solve some of the prob [...]

    12. 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 feels deeply and places great value on emotions as a [...]

    13. Found this after googling The Process during a highly caffeinated Sixers related research session one day The Process refers to Sixers GM Sam Hinkie s plan to pull the team out of mediocrity by clearing cap space, developing unheralded young players, establishing a hardworking, fun, trusting culture environment, and accumulating draft picks by trading current established veterans and MCW, the previous season s Rookie of the Year for future picks, using aforementioned cap space to absorb overpaid [...]

    14. 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 life in any way or providing significant insight The r [...]

    15. 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 been important.A quick read, and Ryan s writing style is [...]

    16. 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 straightforwardness Marcus Aurelius doesn t employ a technical [...]

    17. Too much vaporware Some interesting ideas, some nice stoic quotes, but overall it s 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 and distorted to fit the autor s narrative and to sit nice [...]

    18. 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 checking out and he knows because he s read all of them I d take [...]

    19. 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.

    20. 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 person s control, but takes pains to ignore that those f [...]

    21. 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 philosophy books, I found this one to be heavy on the stories an [...]

    22. 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.

    23. 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 think there is a lot to be said of a quarter life crisis This is some [...]

    24. I have to admit, the paradoxical title caught my attention The Obstacle Is The Way is a maxim that, on the surface, is 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 the obstacle to our acting The impediment to action advances action What stands [...]

    25. 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 guides you in how to live.I ve been a subscriber to Rya [...]

    26. 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 life isn t going our way.At times, it can feel preachy, o [...]

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