42 Remarkable Quotes From The Obstacle Is the Way

Ryan Holiday, the author of ‘The Obstacle is the Way,’ is known for being loosely based on the Roman philosophy of stoicism. Selling more than 100,000 copies worldwide, Holiday focuses his book on three structured disciplines. These are preception, action, and will. Here is a look at some of the best quotes from ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ below.

“An entrepreneur is someone with faith in their ability to make something where there was nothing before. To them, the idea that no one has ever done this or that is a good thing.”

“Blessings and burdens are not mutually exclusive.”

“But thinking about and being aware of our mortality creates real perspective and urgency. It doesn’t need to be depressing. Because it’s invigorating.”

“Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.”

“Death doesn’t make life pointless, but rather purposeful.”

“Each time, you’ll learn something. Each time, you’ll develop strength, wisdom, and perspective. Each time, a little more of the competition falls away. Until all that is left is you: the best version of you.”

“Failure really can be an asset if what you’re trying to do is improve, learn, or do something new.”

“Failure shows us the way—by showing us what isn’t the way.”

“First, see clearly. Next, act correctly. Finally, endure and accept the world as it is.”

“Focus on the moment, not the monsters that may or may not be up ahead.”

“For all species other than us humans, things just are what they are. Our problem is that we’re always trying to figure out what things mean—why things are the way they are. As though the why matters. Emerson put it best: “We cannot spend the day in explanation.” Don’t waste time on false constructs.”

“How we interpret the events in our lives, our perspective, is the framework for our forthcoming response—whether there will even be one or whether we’ll just lie there and take it. Where the head goes, the body follows. Perception precedes action. Right action follows the right perspective.”

“If an emotion can’t change the condition or the situation you’re dealing with, it is likely an unhelpful emotion. Or, quite possibly, a destructive one. But it’s what I feel. Right, no one said anything about not feeling it. No one said you can’t ever cry. Forget “manliness.” If you need to take a moment, by all means, go ahead. Real strength lies in the control or, as Nassim Taleb put it, the domestication of one’s emotions, not in pretending they don’t exist.”

“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. And the only way you’ll do something spectacular is by using it all to your advantage.”

“Is there a chance? Do I have a shot? Is there something I can do?”

“It’s okay to be discouraged. It’s not okay to quit. To know you want to quit but to plant your feet and keep inching closer until you take the impenetrable fortress you’ve decided to lay siege to in your own life—that’s persistence.”

“Like any good school, learning from failure isn’t free. The tuition is paid in discomfort or loss and having to start over.”

“Our actions may be impeded . . . but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting.”

“Our perceptions determine, to an incredibly large degree, what we are and are not capable of. In many ways, they determine reality itself. When we believe in the obstacle more than in the goal, which will inevitably triumph?”

“Perspective has two definitions. Context: a sense of the larger picture of the world, not just what is immediately in front of us Framing: an individual’s unique way of looking at the world, a way that interprets its events.”

“Stop looking for an epiphany, and start looking for weak points. Stop looking for angels, and start looking for angles.”

“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”

“The only guarantee, ever, is that things will go wrong. The only thing we can use to mitigate this is anticipation. Because the only variable we control completely is ourselves.”

“The worst is yet to come.”

“There are far more failures in the world due to a collapse of will than there will ever be from objectively conclusive external events.”

“There is always a countermove, always an escape or way through. No one said it would be easy and of course the stakes are high, but the path is there for those ready to take it.”

“There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.”

“Think progress, not perfection.”

“To argue, to complain, or worse, to just give up, these are choices. Choices that more often than not, do nothing to get us across the finish line.”

“True will is quiet humility, resilience, and flexibility; the other kind of will is weakness disguised by bluster and ambition. See which lasts longer under the hardest of obstacles.”

“Uncertainty and fear are relieved by authority. Training is authority.”

“We decide what story to tell ourselves. Or whether we will tell one at all.”

“We forget: 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.”

“What matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure.”

“When people ask where we are, what we’re doing, how that “situation” is coming along, the answer should be clear: We’re working on it. We’re getting closer. When setbacks come, we respond by working twice as hard.”

“Where the head goes, the body follows. Perception precedes action. Right action follows the right perspective.”

“Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing and herever we are going, we owe it to ourselves, to our art, to the world to do it well.”

“While others obsess with observing the rules, we’re subtly undermining them and subverting them to our advantage.”

“With a business, we take most failures less personally and understand they’re part of the process.”

“You know what’s better than building things up in your imagination? Building things up in real life.”

“You will come across obstacles in life—fair and unfair. And you will discover, time and time again, that what matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure”

“You’ll have far better luck toughening yourself up than you ever will trying to take the teeth out of a world that is—at best—indifferent to your existence.”

Here is a great Google talk featuring Ryan Holiday as he goes into more detail from his book ‘The Obstacle is the Way.’

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