The Obstacle Is the Way

The Obstacle Is the Way Summary

#1 Wall Street JournalBestseller

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 (LL 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.

Book Reviews


I like the thoughts.5 star

I enjoyed the thoughts and insights.55


Worth Every Dollar!5 star

Highly recommend, it gives you a better way of looking at every obstacle that comes in your life whether it be depression or an unknown issue appearing in your business. I loved reading it and will definitely read it again55


Great Book5 star

At this particular point in my life I ran across this book at the perfect time. Definitely helped reshape my perception on obstacles. Showed me how I can use these road blocks to my advantage versus oh woe is me. I highly recommend adding this one to your library if you haven’t already.55


Grateful5 star

Wonderful roadmap for living a life of purpose! It will be reread for years to keep the philosophical mojo flowing! Thank you, Ryan!55

Andy K W

Changed my life5 star

 These last few years I have been lost, graduating from college with a degree I don’t use. Engaged to be married and fearful of the future. Overweight and irresponsible with my finances. Ryan, holiday and the works of the stoics have helped me find a better path in life. This book along with many others has helped me tremendously. Thank you so much.55


Well done!5 star

Excellent. I highly recommend.55


A Must Read!5 star

Lots of great examples and stories!55


Life’s Perspective5 star

This is a great book for a matured mind. Different way of handling life’s challenges.55


Read It Several Times5 star

This book isn’t just for the stoic mind, it’s for everyone. Ryan shares stories and anecdotes that will make you think and shift the narrative you have of your own abilities. I highly recommend reading and sharing.55


Well worth the read5 star

Timeless wisdom to being a person of action, well worth the read and a must re-reader.55

Other Books by Ryan Holiday

The Daily Stoic


The Daily Stoic
4.5     938
Ego Is the Enemy


Ego Is the Enemy
4.5     982
Stillness Is the Key


Stillness Is the Key
4.5     629

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