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

Yak crack

Stoicism made clear.5 star

Can’t wait to dive into the other books by Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus.55


Invigorating read5 star

When I finished this book I felt like I could face anything and find away to come out on top. Excellent read.55


Good Book5 star

I loved this book! The chapters were just the right size and the content was enriching. Wort a reread.55

RL Eaves

Interesting4 star

Nice easy reading with some great reading recommendations.45

Meekco love da games

There’s nothing good about Rommel2 star

The book is too interested in not seeing an example through to the end. He holds up Rommel as some sort of military genius in North Africa leaving out the fact that he died by suicide at the side of Hitler after murdering his own family while hiding in a bunker. After that it’s hard to take the book seriously. Also, he really carries the water for all the Silicon Valley bros. Just read Marcus Aurelius on your own and don’t waste your time with this opinion piece on stoicism.25


Great5 star

Accessible, Easy to read. So informative and inspiring. I recommend this to anyone.55


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

Other Books by Ryan Holiday

The Daily Stoic


The Daily Stoic
4.5     851
Ego Is the Enemy


Ego Is the Enemy
4.5     890
Stillness Is the Key


Stillness Is the Key
4.5     568

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