Obstacle Is the Way Summary (Plus PDF)

The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday Book

The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday is all about controlling what you have control over and forgetting everything else. Those Obstacles will not only waste your time but will also play around with your emotions. The book is based on the philosophy of Stoicism with a modern take.

Lately, I have been reading more about Stoicism, and I didn’t find a better person than Ryan Holiday.

We will explore every book he has written on Stoicism. So you will also explore this journey with me.

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Obstacle Is the Way Summary

Sometimes, we face a problem and try our best to solve it but somehow, we can’t find the right solution. In this situation, Ryan Holiday says, see the problems from the third perspective as you’re not facing a problem and try to find a solution.

This way, your emotions won’t interrupt and you will take all the necessary steps that needed. 

So yes, our Emotions sometimes take control and we can’t see everything properly but if we just focus on the problem and not on our feelings then things do get easy.

It’s like if your friend asks for you then you will give proper advice without worrying about anything but if you have any sort of problem then your emotions will come your way.

Now, one of my takeaways from the book is “No matter what you’re doing in life, always focus on the process. Don’t pay much attention to the outcome. Do what is needed every day and your dream will get closer.”

So with that being said, let’s take a deep dive and see how you can use Stoicism in your daily life.

I’m keeping my promise, this is the mini-ebook of The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday. So download right now and read wherever you want for free. Happy Reading.

Reactions Create More Problem

Let’s say, you’re running a business and it’s doing well but from nowhere, you’re facing problems and now, you’re losing money every day.

Now, you have two options. 

  1. Beat Yourself Up and blame every single person.
  2. See why suddenly, your business is losing money.

The first solution is a waste of time, no matter how much you beat yourself, nothing will happen. You will still lose money. 

The second solution is perfect because it will give you the reasons why you’re losing money and once you find the problem, it will be very easy to solve it.

As the author says, how you react to the problem is more important than anything else. It will decide whether you will solve the problem or not. 

So whenever you face any sort of problem whether it’s in your business or your personal life. Just sit back and observe what is happening and then take action, you don’t have to panic and make a rational decision that can bite you afterward.

To put it into Ryan Holiday’s words “Focus on what you have control over rather than what you don’t have control over”

Apply this philosophy everywhere and you will have a happy life.

Logic Makes Everything Look Dumb

What I’m about to say might hurt your feelings but as the author says, focus on logic.

I live in India and we have lots of temples where we pray to gods for our well-being. Now this is good because this might make you feel good, it may not solve your problem but for the time you’re at the temple, you will feel good.

Because you believe, GOD is real.

Now, I don’t know about you but I have seen people donating money whenever they visit the temple. So, do you think, GOD is using the money to buy clothes, food, or whatever God likes?

The Answer is NO but still, we are doing it because that’s what we have seen throughout our life.

Now, if you put logic into this situation then it’s safe to say that there is no need to donate money to the temple. Still, if you want to donate then we have lots of organizations or just visit any of the old age homes and donate.

Of course, you might not be donating thousands of rupees or dollars when you visit the temple but if we look at the bigger picture then money will get bigger.

So at the end of the year, donate whatever money you want to any of the old age homes or organizations. This will help lots of people and the good part is GOD will thank you for it (if there is any GOD).

In the same way, apply logic to whatever problem you’re facing, ask the question and you will have a proper answer.

Logic will set you free from overthinking or making rational decisions.

Don’t Focus on Outcome 

When I started my first website, my focus was on how much money I was making every day and because of this, I was wasting my time on analytics, competitors’ websites, and seeing views every day.

After the launch of about 8 months, I realized that I should rather focus on writing and everything would be okay.

That’s what I did. I started writing more and improved my writing skills and because of this, today, I’m still earning money by sitting in my room in front of my computer.

This is another reason why I have also written two books and the third one is coming on this Diwali (2024).

So focusing on the process will get you closer to your dreams but if you think about your dreams every single day then you will get distracted and you will for sure waste time doing the things that don’t matter.

As the author says “We are A -Z thinkers. Forgetting about A. Obsessing over z. Yet forgetting all about B-Y.”

It’s like doing what matters today without thinking about the outcome.

Now, of course, you should know what you’re working for but it doesn’t make any sense to think about it every day. Instant, do the work that is needed today, so you can get what you desire.

Obstacle Is the Way Lessons

The Obstacle Is the Way Summary
  • Find the biggest Obstacle that is bothering you and find a solution for it. Once that’s done, everything you want to do will get very easy because you’re now free from the distraction.
  • Focus on what you have control over and throw everything else in a dustbin. This will free you from wasting time on things that don’t matter.
  • Whatever problem you’re facing at this moment, see that problem from the third eye. This way, your emotions won’t come your way and you will be able to find the right solution.
  • Set goals and focus on the process. The process will keep you on track.
  • Learn from failures. Failure is not the end of the world, every time you fail at something, you should get something out of it. Even better, learn from other people’s failures. As Someone said “Life is too short to make all the mistakes that others have made”

Obstacle Is the Way Quotes

“We forget: In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.”

“Like any good school, learning from failure isn’t free. The tuition is paid in discomfort or loss and having to start over.”

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

“For all species other than us humans, things just are what they are. Our problem is that we’re always trying to figure out what things mean—why things are the way they are. As though the why matters. Don’t waste time on false constructs.”

“Blessings and burdens are not mutually exclusive.”

“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”

“In every situation, life is asking us a question, and our actions are the answer.”

“You know what’s better than building things up in your imagination? Building things up in real life.”

“Nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” as Shakespeare put it.”

“Death doesn’t make life pointless, but rather purposeful.”

“We decide what story to tell ourselves. Or whether we will tell one at all.”

Obstacle Is the Way Review

I don’t know about you but I love the Ryan Holiday. He is a fantastic writer, so if you want to take a deep dive into the philosophy of Stoicism then you should be following the author as well as the books he writes.

The Obstacle Is the Way worth reading, just keep the self-help aside and focus on Stoicism and you will love it but if you start reading the book as you read other self-help books then you will for sure hate it because the lessons will learn are the same as your other reads.

All the self-help books talk about the same things, they just package everything in different ways.

Now, I will see you with the next Ryan Holiday soon, once I’ve finished reading it.

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