Summary of The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
“If a tree is in the way, go around it.”
The Obstacle Is The Way’s base idea is off of the Stoicism philosophy. Which is: Obstacles are opportunities.
The premise of the philosophy states that we don’t control what happens to us, but we do control how we respond, and ultimately that influences the outcome.
Basically, this book is about not trying to change circumstances that you can’t change. Instead, accept the circumstance, take control of what you are able to control, take action to control it, and turn that circumstance in your favor.
You can do this by implementing these three disciplines of how you approach obstacles:
- Perception – Change the way you see a problem. You have a choice of how you view a problem. You can either be a victim, feel angry, hurt, depressed, etc. about it, or you can view it as an opportunity and do something about it.
- Action – Do something about it. Take hold of you can control, and enforce it to turn the obstacle in your favor (creating the opportunity).
- Will – Understand that things are going to happen in life that you can’t control. Accept it. Embrace it. But, don’t let that stop you from reaching your goals, dreams, and ambitions if life.
“There is always a way, even in obstacles…”
If you still would like to read the book for examples of how this philosophical approach toward obstacles has been used by great leaders, entrepreneurs, and public influencers, you can get it here: