Ryan Holiday: The obstacle is the way

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Ryan HolidayToday’s guest says this was the book he was born to write. Well, this was the book perfectly written for a guy like me.

Joined by return guest Ryan Holiday, and we discuss his latest work, The Obstacle is the Way:

[from Amazon] We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn’t be this way. There is a formula for success that’s been followed by the icons of history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—a formula that let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding triumphs we all seek.

These men and women were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted. Their success came from timeless philosophical principles laid down by a Roman emperor who struggled to articulate a method for excellence in any and all situations. This book reveals that formula for the first time—and shows us how we can turn our own adversity into advantage.

Discussion topics from my conversation with Ryan:

1. Ryan leads us off by explaining what stoicism is, and what it means to be a stoic.

2. Why he wrote the book, and who is it for.

3. Is this just about mindset?

4. We discuss what’s happening internally to someone when they are beaten down by perceived obstacles.

5. How does one adopt this new framework, this new “operating system,” and begin to change their life?

6. Is Marcus Aurelius the only self-help guru any of us need?

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. Marcus Aurelius

7. Ryan explains that the book is divided into three sections: Perception, Action, and Will. While I understood the first two, I needed help understanding how the force of will plays into this. He explains…

8. We talk about the different applications of this philosophy and framework, and how it applies to not only entrepreneurship, but to sales, business, personal issues, and health and wellness.

9. This never ends. Obstacles will always present themselves. You can choose to always be depressed by that reality, or you can become a stoic, and see a life full of (never-ending) opportunity.

You can find Ryan’s book here (affiliate link):

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This is episode 111.