Okay, I’m going to be honest here. I bought this book on November 11th, 2017 and I tried to read it somewhere around that time as well. However, I couldn’t get through it and ultimately closed it to have it lay on my nightstand up until now. I just think I wasn’t ready yet, which is a shame because I think this book would be very useful at that time. Anyways, I went through it this time and here is my little report. Enjoy the sixth one.
The Obstacle Is The Way
I’m not sure if this book classifies as a philosophy book and honestly I wouldn’t be able to describe what philosophy really is anyways although I understand what it is. But if I had to choose a way to describe this book I’d say it’s a philosophy book. This a book about advice around life, and that’s what philosophy is right? The Obstacle is the Way is about learning from inevitable obstacles and how they can contribute to your life. Most of us try to avoid them, give up when they come around or get crushed by them. But what this book suggests is that the inevitable obstacles are actually the way to go.
Ryan Holiday explains that there are three disciplines when it comes around obstacles; perception, action and will. Perception is how we look at the obstacle, the mental game so to say. Action is whatever we do to face it and ultimately conquer the obstacle. Our will is about perseverance, preparation and the will to try again and again.
Each discipline is divided in multiple sub-disciplines which each in and of themselves are incredibly valuable.
With countless examples from history’s great’s we learn how we could conduct ourselves in the face of those obstacles. For example famous ancient speakers that were born with speech problems and unable to read, to ultimately become one of the best. Or military leaders facing supposed unconquerable obstacles to ultimately face adversity and come out on the other end. One of my favorites was a story of Thomas Edison, who’s research and production center caught fire one day. Green and yellow fires reaching stories high while Edison signaled his son to find his mother and friends saying “they’ll never see a fire like this again”.
Books like this have advise all over them. Every paragraph has a valuable story or lesson that’d be great to apply in your life. It’s, however, not difficult to pick the most valuable piece of advice I learned from this book. This can be applied to virtually everything in life, as it’s applicable in your personal life, business or what have you. And that piece of advise is this: work hard, be honest and help others as best as you can. This encapsulates the things I personally find important in life and it I think many people could benefit greatly if they employed just a little bit more of those things.
At the beginning I told that I’d read this book before but that I had to put it down for whatever reason. It’s a shame because I think this topic could really help me in my perspective towards my own obstacles. I’ve had some physical struggles that seem impossible to conquer at times and definitely demotivates at times, even today. But what I learned from this book is that obstacles are inevitable. And there are great lessons to take from your obstacles. They prepare you in life, for a higher level. Once you’ve overcome an obstacle you are now ready to face a new one.
Primarily this book taught me that there’s great value in adversity. It teaches us, challenges us, hardens us and evolves us. They will come in any area of your life and the thing that matters is how you respond. There’s a time for pain, but don’t let it become suffering where you wallow in your pain longer than you should. Face the adversity, learn from it, explore it, conquer it and get ready for the next obstacle. They are not to be avoided but welcomed.
This is a great book I think everyone benefits greatly from. I know I say that with every book, but I think this one really does even more. We live in a time where people prefer the comfort-zone over the uncomfort-zone. We like to stay in our little bubble of everything is good and great, but we don’t grow that way. To really grow we have to challenge ourselves and go through the adversity to get to the other side. This will give us that new thing, learn that new skill, make more money, become more confident, have more freedom, the list goes on and on.
Now more so than ever this book can be a great teacher for helping you explore in life. It’s a relatively easy read, but remember, if it doesn’t resonate with you at this point of your life, put the book down. Maybe a month from now, 6 months or a year this book does hold value for you and it’ll help you with whatever you’re facing or about to. But until then, explore, expand and learn!