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Book Summary: The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

By Carmen Sakurai


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.”  ~ Amazon.com

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The book is based on the philosophy of Stoicism to help turn adversity into success using the power of perception, action, and will. It reminds us that there is always a countermove, escape, or a way through; so setbacks are only natural and don’t have to be worked up over. Just stay focused on the things you can control, and by doing so you magnify your power.[/su_tab]

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  1. There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.
  2. We must see things simply and straightforwardly as they truly are – neither good nor bad. This will be an incredible advantage for us in the fight against obstacles.
  3. Does getting upset provide you with more options? Discipline in perception lets you clearly see the advantage and the proper course of action in every situation – without the pestilence of panic or fear.
  4. Freedom from disturbance and perturbation – so you can focus your energy exclusively on solving problems rather than reacting to them.
  5. Give yourself clarity, not sympathy.



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