The Obstacle is the Way, is an interesting philosphy, but the more I read it, the more sense that it made. I had heard of Ryan Holiday before, but had never had a great deal of interest until I heard him on the Tim Ferriss Show. He approached the subject of Stoicism, which as a classics major I was not really exposed to. Interestingly enough, I was somehow able to avoid it.
The Stoics were a group of Roman philosophers, which in their day were not really seen as philosophers. Rather their life examples, their lives were as examples. The interesting thing about them is that though they are thousands of years old, they seem to speak to the modern audience extremely coherently.
I Have to say after reading, I am really interested in a firsthand account of Marcus Aurelius, and I will be soon reading his meditations.
Stoicism has an interesting way of “flipping the script.” Now, what does that mean? In actuality, it means taking a problem and making it work. For example, I think my podcast is a great example. I had an issue with soundcloud as a hosting company, which I would recommend to no one. I then took it as an opportunity to create a better product and launched a new podcast with 10 x stats in the first 10 days; I love success.
I love the examples that Holiday uses in the publication, my favorite of which is the Thomas Edison example. Edison was struck with a fire in which he lost $2 million dollars in revenue. Rather than to angry, Edison called his family to see a fire like they had never seen before. Edison then turned that loss to a $10 million revenue; he turned the obstacle to the way.
I learned the most from the book that its all a matter of viewpoint. The point is to see every thing as an opportunity to learn or create better success. I do not want to give too much away, but this book awakened fire in me; I want more.