Typically, I'm not down for a "self-help book". Usually, they either don't have enough witchery and dragons or they have totally the wrong kind.
That said, "The Obstacle is the Way" held the vast majority of my attention from Go to Whoah.
Holiday has compiled the philosophy of the stoics with the stories of real people to send a very clear and somewhat repetitive message: "Chin up champ... that spectacularly s***ty situation is actually an opportunity for you to own it like a Boss. If you choose to!"
Don't get me wrong, saying "somewhat repetitive message" isn't a negative. Barring some form of once in a life-time, life-changing event, your mindset isn't going to change overnight. Repetition is necessary. Repetition is necessary. Repetition is necessary.
Have already recommended it to others. Time for a good hard look at yourself.
It is very tough standing at the bottom of the mountain looking up knowing that your path crosses it. That in many ways is what this book is about and that is why it is not perhaps for everyone.
There is little doubt that life if full of obstacles and that overcoming these makes you a better person but the journey to overcome them is challenging and none more so unless you have the determination to tackle with these with resolve.
This book is certainly inspiring and challenging in the path that it points you along, however don't be fooled that it is an easy path. Yet, take solace in the fact that it is a path that a great many embark on but few complete. The book is easy to read and quite enjoyable and does challenge you to do better by demonstrating how others have got on with what needs doing and when they reflect back the challenges don't seem quite so great.
This book is for those who are committed on a path of self improvement and appreciate the fact that they live in an imperfect world, much of which is beyond their control. It should inspire you and show you that this path is the one worth taking although it may not appear that way at the outset.
Leading a good life is more about a philosophy than any secret formula. This book demonstrates that it is possible and that the challenge is to embrace the obstacles and see them as integral to being alive. That however is no easy process but possible as many others throughout history can attest to.
There is a lot I love about this book. It's well written and it makes its points very well. The focus on the stoics I especially love. It has two faults though. The first is its omission of any focus on practical application of the ideas it puts forward. The second is that while it's clearly written for a US audience and so has lots of references to icons of that culture, which is fine, claims that persistence and other similar traits are uniquely American (sic) limit the credibility of the author as an educated global citizen.
A short, well-written application of Stoic philosophy to our lives that inevitably brings its challenges. Some great stories about famous people illustrate the principles. Ryan Holiday, the author, is great at explaining the ideas and provides useful advice on how to implement them.
I have read it once, and plan on reading it at least a couple more times. It is quite short, but has a lot of hidden depth to it. Since reading it a couple of months ago, I have found it has really changed the way that I think about the world and my situation. It could really be twice as long and offer more concrete examples, but still, it is a great book and well worth reading.