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 674 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.



  • So many gems within this book!

    By Gaylon Hughes Jr.
    Three discplines to instill into your daily life. If followed on a daily basis, there is not one obstacle that deprive your life, it can only make it better. Thanks for the great read, Ryan Holiday!
  • Practice

    By !AO!
    Help separate emotion from daily decisions to lead a better more prosperous life. This book will show you the way.
  • Great read!

    By AlainJJ
    Loved it and the simpleness of the writing. I will definitely immerse into the stoic way and purchase some of the recommended books.
  • Profound and Practical

    By mcoor36
    This is a really great read. It’s one of those books you want to reread to remind yourself of the key points.
  • Well written great book

    By achill175
    I kept co omg across this book for some time and finally jumped into it and was immediately hooked and inspired. Ryan does a great job laying it all out in very concise and easy to understand concepts and action items. The book is Otha Zies into very short chapters which I really liked because you could easily knock a few out of short on time. More often than not, I found myself reading much more than “I had time for”. I really appreciate the reading suggestions in the back of the book as stoicism is something that is interesting me more and more the more I read and I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge with these suggestions. Well done Ryan and thank you. I really needed this book right now.
  • Reader

    By RM Michelle
    Life changing pocket bible! Wow!
  • Excellent book, quick read

    By Klonny56
    I picked this book up after seeing it on Tim Ferriss' book club recommendation, I'm glad I did. Very interesting without being pious or preachy. Great examples of great men and women in history and how they used the classics of antiquity guide them through their trials. One caveat, I listened to the Ferriss interview with the author after I bought the book and am glad I did because Mr. Holiday is certainly not a public and does absolutely nothing to bolster his position as a Stoic by publicly speaking. He has found calling and needs to stick with the written word. Why you may ask? Because he sounds like a 30 year old kid living in his parents basement, sounds very unsure of himself, too young, and has accomplishments with which to support his dispensing of Stoic wisdom. But he writes a great book and I'm sure will develop his speaking ability.
  • Amazing

    By Ayeitsleo
    Changed my view on things. One of my favorite books
  • Great for business and life

    By Ryan Esdohr
    The Obstacle Is The Way is a short read that took me a few weeks to read because of the enthusiasm I had for applying these great lessons.
  • Ryan moves up a notch...

    By dinerdog
    Big time. I was surprised at the how deep this book was. Almost unexpected. I’ve read all the greats (Steven Pressfield and Jack Canfield among them) and Ryan has totally moved closer to that level (IMHO). I read an old Lifehack article on him and how obsessed he’s been with writing, but had no idea how deep the subject matter was. I’m always on the lookout for stories of triumph in extremely tough situations as opposed to all the usual upbeat motivational books. This is beyond what I had hoped for. Still surprised that someone so young has repurposed this (almost forgotten) almost ancient philosophy for today. I’ve read LOTS of books over the years, but this one definately goes to the head of the class. Thank you Ryan, : >