The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph
ISBN: 1591846358
EAN13: 9781591846352
Language: English
Publication Date: May 1, 2014
Pages: 224
Dimensions: 0.6" H x 7.6" L x 5.4" W
Weight: 0.04 lbs.
Format: Hardcover
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The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph

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Book Overview

The Obstacle is the Way has become a cult classic, beloved by men and women around the world who apply its wisdom to become more successful at whatever they do.

Its many fans include a former governor and movie star (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a hip hop icon (L Cool J), an Irish tennis pro (James McGee), an NBC sportscaster (Michele Tafoya), and the coaches and players of winning teams like the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Cubs, and University of Texas men's basketball team.

The book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

Ryan Holiday shows us how some of the most successful people in history--from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs--have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. Their embrace of these principles ultimately mattered more than their natural intelligence, talents, or luck.

If you're feeling frustrated, demoralized, or stuck in a rut, this book can help you turn your problems into your biggest advantages. And along the way it will inspire you with dozens of true stories of the greats from every age and era.

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Book Reviews (1)

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5
   Among the Best Philosophy Books
Having studied graduate philosophy, I would say this is one of the best philosophy books I have ever read. Holiday understands what philosophy is really about - real life. He expresses the truths of Stoic words through the living of Stoics and others who showed that there is no mountain too tough to be traversed.

Like Nicholas Nassim Taleb expresses in his book Antifragile, obstacles are not ends of the road. They are, in fact, bridges to even greater success. Look at anybody who has succeeded. Michael Jordan got cut from his high school team. Barack Obama lost his first run for Congress. Marcus Aurelius had a close confidant betray him. But those who know the route to success is never a straight line are the ones who make it there, forged in the fires of struggle by having not just made it out alive, but by having become better for it.

This thing we call life is what Socrates thought philosophy was about, as did the Stoics, St. Augustine, and more recent existentialists (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Marcel, Sartre, Camus, Buber...). Philosophy as only parsing between logic is as complete as a body with only a head and nothing else. Philosophy is the love of wisdom, not the lust for total knowledge.

Holiday's book shows him to be wise beyond his years, and beyond many who have far more years of "professional education" in loving wisdom. Many of the professionals wouldn't know true philosophy if it stared them in the face.

This book teaches, as my mother - who also was not a "professional philosopher" - used to tell me, "A trial can make you better, or it can make you bitter. It's your choice." We aren't left with a binary of destruction or survival. We have the option to do better than survive through disaster; we have the option to thrive.
 
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