The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage Hardcover – 1 May 2014
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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)
Ryan Holiday is part Machiavelli, part Ogilvy ... this whiz kid is the secret weapon you've never heard of. (Tim Ferriss The 4-Hour Work Week)
The Obstacle is the Way decants in concentrated form the timeless techniques for self-mastery as employed to world-conquering effect by philosophers and men of action from Alexander the Great to Marcus Aurelius to Steve Jobs. Follow these precepts and you will revolutionize your life. As Mr Holiday writes, "It's simple, it's just not easy." Read this book! (Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of 'The War of Art and Gates of Fire')
An absolute must-read. A kind of user's manual for life, you will turn to it time and time again and learn to tear through any obstacle and resolve any conflict. (Jimmy Soni, managing editor of Huffington Post, author of Rome's Last Citizen)
Praise for Trust Me, I'm Lying:
'A playbook for the dark arts of exploiting the media(Robert Greene The 48 Laws of Power)
An astonishing, disturbing book (Financial Times)
In business and marketing, Ryan Holiday has done it all, seen it all, and now he's here to show you ... the way.
A modern guru who shows the way to turn problems into opportunities.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Ryan has written a book that cuts through all of that and goes straight to the heart of everyday problems. This is not your average business or self-help book: this is a manual to turn to in troubling times. It's infinitely practical and applicable in your life now, tomorrow, and for the next 50 years.
The title The Obstacle Is The Way refers to a quote by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who in the second century AD wrote "The impediment to action advances action. What's in the way becomes the way." A perfect metaphor for this is a raging fire: whatever is put in its way becomes fuel for the fire. This book shows you how to do that.
The book is split into 3 sections:
Each section has 8-12 short chapters filled with historical stories from Ulysses S. Grant to Marcus Aurelius, from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart. Ryan has previously been a researcher on Robert Greene's books, and it shows, both in the depth and breadth of his research for this book - the bibliography alone is probably as useful as the book itself.
Ryan is also clearly influenced by both Robert Greene and Marcus Aurelius in terms of his writing style for this book - it is simple, clear, direct and practical. I found myself highlighting and marking numerous passages which I will turn to again and again in the future.
Some choice quotes from the book:
"what matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure...Read more ›
You’ve had to work out how to live successfully by yourself. You’ve learnt to find your own ways to adapt to the difficulties it presents. You’ve found ways to deal with the warped or ill-informed opinions of others, to get what you want in spite of the difficulties you face and if you’re lucky…
The whole experience has made you a stronger person. However, it can be hard to deal with the unfairness or disadvantage we all experience from time to time.
If you’ve sometimes found yourself wondering “why me?” then it simply means you’re human, it happens to all of us.
It’s very easy to let your obstacles define you. I’ve often wished there was an instruction manual to teach you how to live your life meaningfully and successfully, how to use the experience to make yourself stronger, a better person or simply to get the things you want.
It turns out there is such a book called “The Obstacle Is The Way: The Timeless Art Of Turning Adversity Into Advantage” and it is, in my opinion, the guidebook for life I’ve always wanted.
Ryan’s book explains a practical process, broken down into three disciplines, for responding to life’s challenges in a way that will empower you to turn your obstacles into opportunities.
Unlike most books on philosophy, the writing is enthusiastic and clear so even if you’ve never read anything like it before, it should be accessible and engaging.
You won’t find gushing motivational rants, self-indulgent “success stories” or self-help clichés.
Instead, you’ll find practical advice and the honest truth about what it takes to turn your circumstances to your advantage.Read more ›
Stoicism is about squaring with reality head on, free of delusion, be that our expectations of what should happen or the denial of situations we find ourselves in. This makes the stoic perspective immensely powerful because when we've fully embraced reality we can act from a position of power.
It comes as no surprise then, that the stoic approach to life, as espoused in Ryan's book, is vilified by fans of the "law of attraction" as being negative and uninspiring. The Obstacle is the Way shows how the stoic way of life is a rich and life affirming approach and the book is a powerful antidote to the illusions and delusions of most popular self help. Cleanse yourself of wishful thinking, read the book and begin down the path of reclaiming/enhancing your personal power.
Using brilliant anecdotes, Ryan describes a 3 steps approach to turn obstacle into advantages.
The book is smooth, easy to read yet powerful and there are a lot of concepts to absorb and take away: the kind of book that you keep ''reading'' in your mind even after you've actually finished it.
As a good companion to the book I'd suggest Ryan's blog, full of lived examples of 21st century stoicism.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The simplicity of this book and its message shouldn't be taken as reason to dismiss. Oftentimes the simplest have the most profound effect. Would read this again. And again. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Ada Okpe
The book is not very original - it says the same in 1000 ways - every cloud has a silver lining and with persistence, creativity and some good luck you can turn every problem into... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
Probably among 5 of the most universaly applicable and to the point books I`ve ever read. Pure wisdom!Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
I don't think I've read a book quicker than this one. A very interesting read, which flows well. Full of riveting stories of what we think of as heroism, with stoicism at its... Read morePublished 18 days ago by david wright
This is the book that made me a fan of Ryan Holiday. Truly exceptional, especially if you have an interest in Stoicism, but even if not you will LOVE this book!Published 21 days ago by joe
Such a great read, wonderfully written and really gives you a different perspective to life's problem.Published 1 month ago by Mr AKP
In "The Obstacle is the Way" Ryan Holiday guides the reader to see his or her life challenges in a new and invigorating way. Read morePublished 1 month ago by MK