The Obstacle Is the Way
|Cover artist||Erin Tyler|
|Publisher||Portfolio, Penguin Hardcover|
|May 1, 2014|
The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph is the third book by author Ryan Holiday and was published in 2014. It is loosely based on the Roman philosophy of stoicism. It has sold over 100,000 copies since its release and been translated into 17 languages.
The title of the book is drawn from a quote from Meditations, a series of personal writings by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” Holiday draws from Meditations, Aurelius, and the philosophy of stoicism to expand the idea that how we respond to obstacles is what defines us. Holiday argues that obstacles don't inhibit success, they create success and that readers should see "through the negative, past its underside, and into its corollary: the positive."
The Obstacle Is The Way is structured around three disciplines: perception, action and will. Each section uses historical anecdotes and figures from politics, commerce, sports, and history including Theodore Roosevelt, Demosthenes, John D Rockefeller, Amelia Earhart, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Ulysses S. Grant, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, among others.
In May 2014, Holiday had the title of the book tattooed to his forearm. The book was included in Gear Patrol's "10 Best Books of Summer", and named one of Entrepreneur Magazine's must read holiday books.
Reception and influence
After the book's release, the book slowly made its way through the community of professional sports, after being read number of prominent athletes and head coaches including Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs, UT basketball coach Shaka Smart, tennis pro James McGee, NFL lineman Garrett Gilkey, Olympic gold medalist Chandra Crawford, and others. On the way to their 2014 Super Bowl victory, Michael Lombardi and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots distributed copies of The Obstacle Is the Way to their staff and players. In the 2015 season, Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider and Pete Carroll passed the book around the team's locker room.
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- Pete Carroll, NFL's eternal optimist, is ready to turn heartbreak into triumph Sports Illustrated. December 10, 2015
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