The Obstacle is the Way – a timeless self-help guide

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

There are so many books on self-help and development, but I guess they have all worked around guiding on how to remove the different obstacles from the journey towards your dreams. If we want to achieve something big, then facing problems is so common. These difficult situations may be different in their intensities and vary from person to person, but they always end up with making us feel frustrated, irritated, and anxious.

Well, if you can feel previous and if this is something that is happening with you as well then, this timeless book is for you. Recently, I have been crushing over stoicism philosophy and after reading this book – It made me completely aware of the aspects and logic behind this philosophy. Well! In some time, you too would be aware of this.

What is this book all about?

This book, "The Obstacle is the Way" covers various aspects of our life like- Perception, Actions and Will. The author of this book, Ryan Holiday explained every inch of the topic in such a way that would be so easy to understand and apply in life. The best part about this book is the way, the author has shared the method for turning obstacles into advantages.

Let us dive through the Three Main Parts of this Book:

Part 1: Perception

“You will come across obstacles in life - fair and unfair. And you will discover, time and time again, that what matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure.”

– Ryan Holiday

Our perception is the way how we look at the daily happenings in our life. These regular events can be either our source of strength or can evolve into a source of weakness.

Due to our upbringing, our brains are always set to focus more on dangers and threats. But this isn’t as helpful now. Most of our obstacles in our life are not dangers that affect us physically, instead, the modern scenario takes us more mentally. Therefore, we need to reprogram our brain cells to identify modern obstacles effectively. And in the process to do that, we all need to learn and practice the new self-talk.

To help us evolve in this, there are beautiful mantras to practice daily:

1. Be focused on your objective

2. Know when you need to control your emotions

3. Have a viewpoint

4. Focus on what you can control

Part 2: Action

“It’s supposed to be hard. Your first attempts aren’t going to work. It’s going to take a lot out of you - but energy is an asset we can always find more of.”

– Ryan Holiday

It’s worth to notify you again, that your way of looking at your dreams or problems is an essential prerequisite to take effective action. Well, I am not saying that you can’t complain about your situations or feel bad for yourself. After all, we all are Humans for a reason. The only thing the author says is, just don’t take too long to overcome this feeling.

You amazing souls have to get back to work again for your dreams. No one will be coming to save you. You are the only one who can tackle all your problems. Keep in check, even if you’ve started making efforts again, is your full heart in it? If not, be aware that will definitely affect your results.


Putting in your full effort means you:

1. Practice dedication

2. Repeat

3. Don’t worry about how your situation looks like; Change your focus to get results.

Part 3: Will

“It’s a little unnatural, I know, to feel gratitude for things we never wanted to happen in the first place, but we know, at this point, the opportunities and benefits that lie within adversities. We know that in overcoming them, we emerge stronger, sharper, empowered.”

– Ryan Holiday

Well, this is a fact – our dreams rarely go according to what we planned, and we rarely get what we think we ought to have. Yet people constantly disagree with these two facts and at the end seems shocked by what happened.

Awareness is the discipline of the mind. Your daily actions are the discipline of the body. Will is the discipline for the heart. Having strong will let you fight hardships along your journey.

Let’s be honest, Problems are inevitable. The worst thing that can happen to you is something going wrong and hitting you all by surprise. This failure becomes the reason why we give up! But what if we do a pre-self-talk on dealing with all the possibilities that may happen. It will give you an edge over your problems and counter them effectively.

To nurture will, we need to

1. Foresee failure

2. Focus on what you can control

3. Love everything whatever comes your way

4. Persevere

5. Be ready always to start again

Will I recommend this book? Yes.

It gives you all a new form of self-talk that’s empowering. I’m someone who enjoys realism and logic, so I enjoyed this book because each chapter was short, practical, and logical. Order this book here.

Shruti Gilra

I am a bird who's flapping her wings to fly high. I’m the mindset coach behind Girl with Vision. I love to gather information as much as I can about everything and love to frame them in my articles. Writing makes me feel lighter & happier.

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