The Obstacle is the Way is a book on how to tackle the challenges and obstacles that inevitably will be in your way, whether they are fair or not. Most thoughts are drawn from the stoic school of philosophy, where Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus are the biggest contributors.
Overcoming obstacles is a discipline of three critical steps:
- How problems are perceived, attitude, approach etc.
- The creativity and energy with which problems are actively broken down and turned into opportunities.
- The inner will which allows handling of defeat and difficulty.
Other takeaways from the book:
- What stands in the way becomes the way.
- The best way is through.
- You cannot control the world but you can control how you react. Be objective and in control of your emotions.
- Situations are neither good nor bad, they just are. The goodness or badness of a situation is only the subjective label we put on them.
- Don’t take your weaknesses for granted.
- Take action! Focus on what you can do right now.
- 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.
- Persist and resist. Persist in your efforts and resist giving in to distraction, discouragement, or disorder.
- Be a finisher. Finishing the task you have right in front of you and finishing it well.
- Persistence is an action. Perseverance is a matter of will. One is energy. The other, endurance.