The Obstacle is the Way —Summary and Application

See things for what they are.

Do what we can.

Endure and bear what we must.

What blocked the path now is a path.

What once impeded action advances action.

The Obstacle is the Way.

Q1: Why did the author write this book?

Q2: What are the main ideas from the book?

Part 1: Perception

“You will come across obstacles in life — fair and unfair. And you will discover, time and time again, that what matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure.” –Ryan Holiday

“The struggle against an obstacle inevitably propels the fighter to a new level of functioning. The extent of the struggle determines the extent of the growth. The obstacle is an advantage, not adversity. The enemy is any perception that prevents us from seeing this.” –Ryan Holiday

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Part 2: Action

“It’s supposed to be hard. Your first attempts aren’t going to work. It’s going to take a lot out of you — but energy is an asset we can always find more of.” –Ryan Holiday

“Failure shows us the way — by showing us what isn’t the way.” –Ryan Holiday

“The process is about doing the right things, right now. Not worrying about what might happen later, or the results, or the whole picture.” –Ryan Holiday

“We wrongly assume that moving forward is the only way to progress, the only way we can win. Sometimes, staying put, going sideways, or moving backward is actually the best way to eliminate what blocks or impedes your path.” –Ryan Holiday

Part 3: Will

“The world might call you a pessimist. Who cares? It’s far better to seem like a downer than to be blindsided or caught off guard.” –Ryan Holiday

“If someone we know took traffic signals personally, we would judge them insane. Yet this is exactly what life is doing to us. It tells us to come to a stop here. Or that some intersection is blocked or that a particular road has been rerouted through an inconvenient detour. We can’t argue or yell this problem away. We simply accept it. That is not to say we allow it to prevent us from reaching our ultimate destination. But it does change the way we travel to get there and the duration of the trip.–Ryan Holiday

“In your worst moments, picture Johnson: always calm, always in control, genuinely loving the opportunity to prove himself, to perform for people, whether they wanted him to succeed or not. Each remark bringing the response it deserved and no more — letting the opponent dig his own grade. Until the fight ended with Jeffries [the opponent] on the floor and every doubt about Johnson silenced.” –Ryan Holiday

“It’s a little unnatural, I know, to feel gratitude for things we never wanted to happen in the first place, but we know, at this point, the opportunities and benefits that lie within adversities. We know that in overcoming them, we emerge stronger, sharper, empowered.” –Ryan Holiday

“Life is not about one obstacle, but many. What’s required of us is not some short-sighted focus on a single facet of a problem, but simply a determination that we will get to where we need to go, somehow, someway, and nothing will stop us.” –Ryan Holiday

“Just when you think you’ve successfully navigated one obstacle, another emerges. But that’s what keeps life interesting. And as you’re starting to see, that ‘s what creates opportunities.” –Ryan Holiday

Q3: How have I applied this book in my life?

Q4: What is my opinion of the book?

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