The Obstacle is the Way a book by Ryan Holiday

letter the Obstacle is the Way a book by Ryan Holiday

Every book that was ever written has its guts in philosophy. This book is no different there is nothing knew that was never thought of or said before in it. In fact Holiday recommends reading philosophy. He gives a very good list of recommended reads. The obstacle is designed for todays overwrought, over exposed and distracted peoples.

All the self help and DIY books you’ve ever perused concerning your internal and external blocks are eviscerated from Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas,Epictetus, Seneca, Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Spinoza et al.

The obstacle is as old as the hills. A metaphor due for a resurrection. Camus and Sisyphus. He didn’t have an epiphany, like any other authors idea it was there already. He extended it. And Holiday saw the state of play and went for the wall,mountain,river,cliff face challenges.  Imagine the ‘Life of Brian’. How did we get through it all!

Still there are new angles and perspectives and you will pick up little nuggets here and there in ‘The Obstacle’.

Any philosopher would recommend the many ways of getting around, over, under or through the obstacle. Try these first couple of pages from Senecas’ ‘On the Shortness of LIfe’……..












This book was part of Holiday’s reading list. Not to dwell or grow a mountain out of a mole hill. Get on with it. Stop making excuses. This book ‘ The Shortness of Life’ expresses this from the background of the stoic philosophy.

Holiday writes with an implicit style succinct with examples. Although we’ve all read books like this for example Covey ‘ The Seven Habits ‘, or anything by Deepak , Opera and any other author working on the positive, trying to drive and get the best out of us Holiday isn’t as preachy. Goals and acceptance, rejections and targets, faith, hope and charity we’ve heard it all before.

Everyone needs to be heard. That is what the internet is professing. Get out there, be virtual be magnanimous with self indulgence and of course be self-serving: don’t hide under the obstacle whatever you do. Holiday focus’s on this madness.

All this exposure allows for little contemplation. The urge to be seen overrides the shadow where a person can be at peace. Holiday uses the stoic perspective to be strong and not defensive. To get on with it and not wallow. It’s a tweet book. Handy size. Something to pick up and browse, lend or give away. There is nothing to strain the brain all very KIS and kitsch just what the nearly underused brain of today needs.

 “There Is Nothing New Under The Sun”

 Ecclesiastes  1:4-11  A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.

The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.

All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.

All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.

There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be among those who come after.