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Summary ofThe Obstacle Is the Way

Have you read all about success and yet struggle to put it into action? Or are your goals still elusive regardless of how much you try? The chances are that what you define as success is the opposite of what it really is. True success means that you face obstacles occasionally and how you overcome them decides whether you win or lose. Author Ryan Holiday is a renowned strategist and presents a philosophical take on obstacles and how you can change limitations to opportunities. If you’re someone who often starts something, only to face a hurdle and give up, this summary is for you! We all face problems in every single endeavor we move towards in life. Those problems can derail your progress completely, or you can use the situation as a learning curve. The choice is yours. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~ Ryan Holiday

Key points


How do you view obstacles that stand in your way?

Marcus Aurelius, one of the most revered emperors of Rome, discovered an idea that has proven timeless. Even with a battle before him, he wrote a self-addressed formula for the many problems he was sure to face ahead. He found that obstacles should be seen as stepping stones and realized that impediments are nothing but a route to success. In time, this idea became fuel for millions of individuals from different spheres of life. This is an idea that resonates across generations while retaining its potency even today.

Many of those who understood the process described above went on to achieve greatness; they understood that it’s normal to face struggles. They knew that battles, barriers, and challenges create an essential part of the journey. Of course, all of this means that you have a golden opportunity to learn. This isn’t restricted to just a few people; you too can ride the waves of challenges to your destination.
An obstacle need not be a complete stop. Simply learn how to overcome it and do better next time.
Ryan Holiday reiterates this belief and acknowledges the mind game obstacles play on us. You come to terms with failure and settle for leftovers when your dream job, new business, or revamped health are just beyond the barrier. Sadly, your natural response is to keep it safe, to wallow in regret, and to remain helpless. Consequently, you hide behind fear by blaming the system, focusing all your strength on the factors that had dealt you an unfair hand.

Companies can also benefit from this advice. It can teach them how to become better people or brands. Also, it can open their eyes to faster and more efficient ways to do things that were previously labeled impossible.

All of this is only possible when you start to identify your obstacles. Without that, you’re swimming through mud. Is it the color of your skin that held you back, or is your qualification nowhere near the requirements for achieving your goals? Whatever they might be, you must have read somewhere about people who had better reasons to give up and had to find ways to go around barriers. According to Ryan Holiday, achieving this involves three interwoven forms of discipline – perception, will, and action. Read on to learn more.

Perception is the first discipline you need to overcome obstacles

Perception is how you see the world or situations you’re currently in. In other words, your view of what is going on around you has a say in who you are and what you believe. Perception makes or breaks people, and only the people that understand how to see situations for what they are can grab the benefits of the opportunity.
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Start practicing objectivity to change your perception


Don’t just sit there waiting for opportunities; take action!


Be patient as you move through the process


When nothing seems to work, use your will to overcome challenges



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