The Obstacle Is The Way

The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday

Pattern of the book: The examples/stories encompasses something standing in someone’s way, they are not imtimidated. Even though they did not always overcome it in the way they intended or expected, each individual emerged better, stronger.

“We will be and do many things in our lives. Some are prestigious, some are onerous, none are beneath us. To whatever we face, our job is to respond with: hard work honesty helping others as best we can

They want you thinking and acting on their terms, not yours.

Don’t ignore fear, but explain it away.

If I can’t solve this for myself, how can I at least make this better for other people?

Behind mountains are more mountains.

The person ready to be disappointed won’t be.

Things can always be worse. Lose money? Remember, you could have lost a friend. Lost that job? What if you’d lost a limb? Lost your house? You could have lost everything.

You should never have to ask yourself, But what am I supposed to do now? Because you know the answer: your job. Whether anyone notices, whether we’re paid for it, whether the project turns out successfully—it doesn’t matter. We can and always should act with those three traits—no matter the obstacle.” “There’s nothing shameful about sweeping. It’s just another opportunity to excel—and to learn. But you, you’re so busy thinking about the future, you don’t take any pride in the tasks you’re given right now. You just phone it all in, cash your paycheck, and dream of some higher station in life. Or you think, This is just a job, it isn’t who I am, it doesn’t matter.”

when Hurricane Carter walked out of prison, he simply resumed his life. Carter did not even request an apology from the court. Because to him, that would imply that they’d taken something of his that he felt he was owed.

Copyright The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

Preface a method and a framework for understanding, appreciating, and acting upon the obstacles life throws at us.

Preface Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them.”

Preface The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”

Preface It begins with how we look at our specific problems, our attitude or approach; then the energy and creativity with which we actively break them down and turn them into opportunities

STEADY YOUR NERVES The Greeks had a word for this: apatheia.

PRACTICE OBJECTIVITY Where the head goes, the body follows. Perception precedes action. Right action follows the right perspective.

ALTER YOUR PERSPECTIVE God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference

ALTER YOUR PERSPECTIVE What is up to us, what is not up to us. And what is up to us? Our emotions Our judgments Our creativity Our attitude Our perspective Our desires Our decisions Our determination

IS IT UP TO YOU? We cannot spend the day in explanation.” Don’t waste time on false constructs.

IS IT UP TO YOU? The implications of our obstacle are theoretical—they exist in the past and the future. We live in the moment. And the more we embrace that, the easier the obstacle will be to face and move.

GET MOVING Stop looking for an epiphany, and start looking for weak points. Stop looking for angels, and start looking for angles. There are options.

PRACTICE PERSISTENCE What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first steps to something better. —WENDELL PHILLIPS

FOLLOW THE PROCESS There’s nothing shameful about sweeping. It’s just another opportunity to excel—and to learn. But you, you’re so busy thinking about the future, you don’t take any pride in the tasks you’re given right now. You just phone it all in, cash your paycheck, and dream of some higher station in life. Or you think, This is just a job, it isn’t who I am, it doesn’t matter.

FOLLOW THE PROCESS We will be and do many things in our lives. Some are prestigious, some are onerous, none are beneath us. To whatever we face, our job is to respond with: hard work honesty helping others as best we can You should never have to ask yourself, But what am I supposed to do now? Because you know the answer: your job. Whether anyone notices, whether we’re paid for it, whether the project turns out successfully—it doesn’t matter. We can and always should act with those three traits—no matter the obstacle.

FOLLOW THE PROCESS How you do anything is how you can do everything. We can always act right.

PART III: WILL Certain things in life will cut you open like a knife. When that happens—at that exposing moment—the world gets a glimpse of what’s truly inside you.

BUILD YOUR INNER CITADEL Beware the calm before the storm. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. The worst is yet to come. It gets worse before it gets better.