The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

The description of the book shared of people like John D. Rockefeller, Amelia Earhart, Ulysses S. Grant, and Steve Jobs who have overcome great adversity and how they did it. That was what the book was going to be all about and I was certainly looking forward to seeing what’s worked for other people and what might work well for me too. I found this book insightful and the interview at the end of the book was a wonderful experience. It was a nice addition to the audiobook and definitely helped provide a greater insight into the author’s journey through obstacles.

All 3. In this order. Period. We must determine how we are going to look at and approach problems and then actually use that approach and attitude. After that, we must relentlessly and resiliently generate solutions and chase the most effective one. Finally, the act of prevention and being proactive rather than reactive. All 3. As the author shared, a simple process… but NEVER easy.

Overcoming obstacles is a discipline of 3 critical steps:

1. Attitude or approach: how we look at a specific problem
2. Energy and creativity with which we actively break them down into opportunities
3. Cultivation and maintenance of an inner will that allows us to handle defeat and difficulty

Perception, action, and the will.

A simple process but never easy.

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Love this. Perspective is so important and I love the book by Oren Klaff called Pitch Anything that goes much deeper into the impact of framing. It’s amazing what we can learn if we actually focus on learning.

Perspective has two definitions:

1. Context — a sense of a larger picture of the world, not just what we have in front of us
2. Framing — an individual’s unique way of looking at the world, a way that interprets its events
The right action follows the right perspective.

Which do you choose? We were created to work; we were created to honor God with our work.

“Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.” — Proverbs 20:13 NIV
“We all must either wear out or rust out, every one of us. My choice is to wear out.” — Theodore Roosevelt
“It is much harder to stop something already in motion than it is to start something that is stopped. It is even harder still to induce motion into something that is without movement.” — Harrison Wendland

I find that it is so so important to continue moving. It’s essential. If we stop moving, how hard it is to begin again? SO DIFFICULT.

That’s why the best writers write every day.
That’s why Kobe Bryant practiced 3 times a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY.
That’s why Jerry Seinfield did stand up every day.
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That’s why all the greats continue to take action every single day, no matter what. There is never a good enough reason… or should I say excuse… to deter action.

At its most basic level, courage is really just taking action. Just because the conditions aren’t exactly to our liking or we don’t feel ready yet doesn’t mean we get a pass. If we want momentum, we just create it ourselves by getting up and getting started.

This is what the author emphasizes. Do you live like this? Why not?

Consider this mindset:

Never in a hurry
Never worried
Never desperate
Never stopping short

AMEN. We always know what to do. EVERYONE knows what to do to be fit… how many eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get a good night’s sleep?

You should never have to ask yourself, “oh what am I supposed to do now?” Because you know the answer, YOUR JOB.

This is the life motto that Ryan exudes, it’s a wonderful one. This is what capitalism is built on, isn’t it? I’d say so. And also… it’s Biblical.

Try hard. Be honest. Help others and ourselves.

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This book was great. Now… after writing this, I upgraded my rating of it. I’ve been going through a lot of books lately that maybe I overlooked all the gems from this one initially. It was marvelous and just spectacular. I enjoyed all the key points and the perspective that the author shared throughout the entire book. This was a spectacular book and one that certainly accomplished the goal for me; when the going gets rough, when the going gets touch, when I think I’ve had enough, I KNOW what to do… my job.

I gave this book a 4/5

To read this book, get it here

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