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


Exactly what I wanted5 star

I wanted a book that offered new insight and philosophical takes on the world. It also references many historical figures ranging from the 20th century to thousands of years ago. Highly recommend.55

Big Daddy Mas

worthwhile4 star

Very motivating, my favorite chapter was on Lincoln, so good I had to watch the movie that night. A little redundant in spots, but worth a read and valuable to have as a resource when obstacles come your way….and they will.45


Stoicism at its best5 star

Shared the thoughts well. Very insightful55


Excellent5 star

Concise and inspiring.55

Building my cup

Great introduction to stoicism5 star

Fast read. Can be applied to any situation. Peaked my interest into more stoicism.55


Foundation5 star

The lost art and foundation of being a better person.55


Definitely recommend5 star

This book is so spot on to what I’ve been experiencing of late in my personal and professional life. It has become a great tool for me to use and look at situations through a different lens and in most situations, to see myself through them better off. This will be a great asset as I continue my personal growth and one I share with many along the way.55


Put perspective into its place5 star

A new a d empowering way at looking at life’s hits.55


Wow5 star

Incredible read!!55


Amazing book that everyone should read!5 star

I will be buying this book for everyone that I love (that can read of course). I couldn’t put it down!55

Other Books by Ryan Holiday

The Daily Stoic


The Daily Stoic
4.5     610
Ego Is the Enemy


Ego Is the Enemy
4.5     758
Lives of the Stoics


Lives of the Stoics
4.5     38

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