The Obstacle is the Way

Our actions may be impeded…but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions.

Because we can accommodate and adapt.

The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle of our acting.

The impediment to action advances action.

What stands in the way becomes the way.


Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 170 A.D.


I am always making notes. I look and listen for new sources. I kept hearing a name from a variety of different people saying there was an author whose book you had to read. It was by Ryan Holiday. The book was titled The Obstacle is the Way. I am glad I was made aware of this book. If I had a teenager or young adult in my life this would be the book I would give them. This is a book that I have read and reread several times over the last year. There are books that should be read and reread because they do not reveal all of their insights at once. Plus, when I started to breakdown my own Experiences it has made go back to this book.

Tip: Beware of person who reads a book just once and think they have all of the knowledge from that book.

I had read some of the writings of Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Seneca at some point in college. However, I was never taught what they meant to each other and how their writings were the basis of a philosophical discipline known as Stoicism. It is defined as “the endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and complaint.” My early Catholic education was not going to mention them because they relied only on Magical Thinking. In high school, this may have been more useful than the SAT Prep book. As the author said, the writings of the Stoics are pretty much straightforward and college professors tend not to like works that are not Open to Interpretation.

In Ryan Holiday’s book he takes these teachings and how it applied to people throughout History: Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D Eisenhower, Amelia Earhart, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs.

The lessons and examples in this book are still relevant to our times. If not more. We live in times where every day there is someone selling the Top 5-10 Steps for Success. The title implies there is Magical Linear Path to success. It is just a trick. That is all. However, the real message should be, Whatever Your Pursuit is. You will be lucky to bat .250 at it. So be prepared to learn more through what appears to be failure.” The book contains how these people adjusted, persevered, and endured to achieve the goals. In this current time, where people are complaining about the Inequalities that are life and Magical Thinking a politician can change that. This book can be Antidote to that outlook.

Here is audio sample of from Ryan Holiday. 20 minutes long. A Good listen for the Commute Time.



In the end, this is the reality that none of us can escape.

And Avoid anyone trying to sell you an Escape Plan from this Reality.

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