Review: The Obstacle is the Way

4 Star, Consciousness & Social IQ, Philosophy
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Ryan Holiday

4.0 out of 5 stars World-Class Integration with Some Flaws, July 2, 2015

This is a brilliantly executed formula book. It was given to me as a gift during a recent trip to Tampa, Florida, and I read it on the airplane flying back — so I do recommend it as a 2 hour airplane read.

The author, whom I know personally and whose book Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator I consider the superior original work — I gave it a rave review and met the author as a result, has done a superb job of combining an original foundation from several ancient philosophers with modern biographies of success, to create a distilled self-help book that focuses on perception, action, and will as the three things that anyone can control in the face of adversity.

There are flaws in the book best addressed by a review that Amazon is deliberately suppressing (Amazon has been manipulating the voting system for a long time, in part to flush older reviewers like myself and in part to sell books regardless of the negative review), scan for this specific review as a complement to mine: Applied Stoicism and Vain Hero-Worship By Kevin L. Nenstiel.

I do recommend the book and I found a number of its points worthy of note and helpful to myself. Here are just a few of them as underlined

* The one thing we can control is our reaction to circumstance and what we do next
* There is always a countermove, and generally the best countermove is indirect
* Question authority — the conventional wisdom is very often wrong
* “…genius is often persistence in disguise…”
* Great and original achievements are supposed to be hard!
* Bitterness and embarrassment are self-imposed retardants to one's own progress
* When in doubt, help others — it will pay dividends both personally and externally
* Patience is priceless
* In context of cosmos, whatever we do is right, what we decide to do is up to us

I enjoyed the author's bibilography. Within my ten limit, here are nine of his references:

Discourses, Fragments, Handbook (Oxford Worlds Classics)
Meditations (Dover Thrift Editions)
Billion Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Ye ars
Man's Search for Meaning
The 48 Laws of Power
Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault
The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto)

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