Every coworking space has a shelf somewhere with a random collection of books. Providing a perfect snapshot into that community, we’ve discovered great titles along the way. The Coworkaholic Book Nook is a compilation of the top reads we’ve found and couldn’t put down. One of those is The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.

What Stands in the Way, Becomes the Way

Life is full of challenges and disappointments that might appear to be more than one can handle. Inspired by Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and a stoic philosophy, author Ryan Holiday curates stories of historical and famous figures who had to overcome obstacles while becoming the successes we know them as today.


Artwork Credit: Sacha Chua | @sachac | www.sketchedbooks.com

Through real life examples, the reader can see how key principles of stoicism can and should be applied to every day life. The book is organized into three sections: Perception, Action and Will. The author’s ability to weave philosophy with great storytelling helps the reader put these lessons into practice.  can help you see clearly, act correctly and endure when faced with conflict or challenges.

Each chapter highlights a different lesson with a story about people such as George Clooney, John D. Rockefeller, Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, and Steve Jobs. The stories range from heartbreaking to inspiring, all while exploring the concepts Holiday brings.


Anyone who has faced adversity knows that it’s far easier to solve a problem when you understand it. By controlling our emotions and looking at problems from the outside you gain a clearer understanding of the situation. By remaining present and embracing what is actually happening vs. what you think is happening, you can turn any obstacle into an opportunity.


Having a plan is only the beginning when working towards a solution to any problem. In the second section of the book, key takeaways include focusing on the process, the importance of having realistic expectations and that action isn’t always about moving forward.


Being told “This too shall pass” can be frustrating in the moment. But, by embracing an attitude of acceptance and cheerfulness, one can continue taking action time and again. For anyone looking to do something, but who hasn’t yet, these lessons provide a mantra to carry on no matter the circumstance.

Who This Book is For

This book is for anyone who has obstacles in their life, so that’s everybody. I’ve sent this book as a gift to dozens of people: from friends of over 10 years to random folks I’ve only met once. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living or if you’re 25 or 65. Everyone can benefit from seeing problems the right way. Who this book is perfect for however, is the person who feels like they are stuck. Also, for anyone who is constantly complaining about how other people are to blame, or how the world is out to get them. The Obstacle is the Way provides example after example of great people doing great things despite their struggles.

The post Review: The Obstacle is the Way was first published on Coworkaholic.

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