I discovered “The Obstacle is the Way” by way of the author, Ryan Holiday.
Ryan has a great reading list he blasts out every month, which led me to follow him on twitter, and contact him directly (very infrequently).
Stoicism, the philosophy that the book is loosely based on, is something I’ve been interested in for the past few years, but never read much about. Obstacle sold itself as a direct line to actionable lessons learned from Stoicism’s great philosophers, which made it an easy decision to download it.
Obstacle is filled with so many quotes, lessons and allegories that it quickly suffers diminished returns. It’s hard to take that much advice in one sitting, half way through you feel like saying “Ok! Ok! I get it! I’ll try and do some of this stuff, just give me a second!”
Here are three highlights that stood out to me. Together, they cover each three sections that divide the book.
“Does getting upset provide you with more options? Does what happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness?” (Perception)
“Could you be doing more?” (Action)
“If something is in our control, it’s worth every ounce of our efforts and energy.” (Will)