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The Obstacle Is the Way

The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Ryan Holiday

By reviewing this book, I admit that I often craved empathy from self-help books at the most challenging moments of my mentality life. I did not like the fact that I was dependent on external forces to redefine and sustain myself because of the vision of my dependency, breaking and turning out of reach. I would collapse as a domino piece inescapable of standing still when things get bad. I thought a man would only stand firm when he was a lone piece (relatively, not absolutely).

This was what happened in my mind before I got out of university and indulged in books. It is such a stroke of luck that not only empathy but I have also been learning about my identity and making sense of the world.

Books have never ceased to surprise me with new insights. This book is about Stoicism, and the author Ryan Holiday is a fervent advocate of this philosophy. The reason why I told the story above is that, by reading this book, I further understood that I just have to accept moments as they present. Accepting the imperfections of the uncontrollable and looking at the other side of the coin (reframing) as reframing is not about resentfully accepting the situation but about changing attitude from “I don’t like this” to “I can make this great.”

I can understand why Ryan’s books so populous because of the book’s simple structure, short anecdotes to paint the point clear, and daily stories. I think Ryan makes his book very much approachable to any audience, even stoicism can be quite dry at its core (in old books). To people who are still suspicious of motivation books such as this, it is the easiest to try it yourself, because these books are not at all about lousy slogans. It is the stories of real people, real events that move you to your core.

As an avid motivation book reader and as a pro-science reader, however, I found his book a bit too simple though the conveyed ideas are powerful. I prefer books with more depth into every account mentioned.

Overall, I think most readers will find this book enlightening and motivational.

Autumn 2020

August 19, 2020 at 3:00:00 PM




The Obstacle Is the Way
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