The Obstacle Is the Way - Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle Is the Way

By Ryan Holiday

  • Release Date: 2014-05-01
  • Genre: Management & Leadership
Score: 4.5
From 1,667 Ratings


#1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller

The Obstacle is the Way
has become a cult classic, beloved by men and women around the world who apply its wisdom to become more successful at whatever they do.

Its many fans include a former governor and movie star (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a hip hop icon (LL Cool J), an Irish tennis pro (James McGee), an NBC sportscaster (Michele Tafoya), and the coaches and players of winning teams like the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Cubs, and University of Texas men’s basketball team.

The book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” 

Ryan Holiday shows us how some of the most successful people in history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. Their embrace of these principles ultimately mattered more than their natural intelligence, talents, or luck.

If you’re feeling frustrated, demoralized, or stuck in a rut, this book can help you turn your problems into your biggest advantages. And along the way it will inspire you with dozens of true stories of the greats from every age and era.


  • My first finished book by Ryan and a masterpiece!

    By Dcaro1692
    One of the best books I’ve ever read! Full of stoic wisdom and great lessons
  • Good read to equip yourself

    By Tybombero
    I enjoyed the short chapters and bite sized nuggets however still found my mind wandering. Sometimes the points were a little nebulous.
  • Amazing

    By Fugghdddddfg
    Life starts now.
  • Excellent!

    By jimmsmiff
    From front to back this is a must read book on Stoic Philosophy!
  • Much needed read to start the new year

    By ariellustre
    Highly recommend it
  • Nice book

    By YJO 1988
    The positive: I read lots of self improvement books & i can say ‘ the obstacle is a way ‘ became one of them i think this book is the kind of book that makes you wanna go and read it again after years of passing it helps you to go through tough situations positively, even though the book advises the reader to use the obstacle as a motivation to go forward which is a nice perspective The negative: I felt some kind a bored while reading some chapters
  • Cliff Notes for Living

    By Bubba Gravy
    Great book that really gives insight and to be an actionable person that holds themselves responsible.
  • Amazing

    By juandx
    Amazing work.
  • This Is The Way

    By Richard Bakare
    I have long been a fan of Ryan Holiday’s “The Daily Stoic.” Having read it consistently every day since January of 2020. I did not realize how pivotal it would be in helping me navigate the Pandemic. That book I thought was enough but then I was gifted this book and of course I have had so much more to learn. It reminds me of an updated version of Robert Greene’s “48 Laws of Power.” More concise and to the point. Grouped neatly into three key sections that build neatly on each other. Its brevity is what helps make it sticky. Strong historical anecdotes set the scene and deep analysis give you actionable summaries. Holiday’s style is to move you to act not just be inspired. This is a compelling book in the motivational category that is not burdened by the cliche and kitschy language of similar entries in this genre. Slowly, over the course of reading it the mantra will creep into and settle deep into your brain; The Obstacle is the Way! Or put another way, this is the way. The stoic, measured view on the world. I am looking forward to reading more by Holiday.
  • Good book.

    By Mr. Nycto
    Very inspiring read.