The Obstacle Is the Way - by Ryan Holiday

A book on stoicism for entrepreneurs, doers & creatives

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Ryan HolidayMaker@ryanholiday · Author, Ego is the Enemy
I am excited that my book The Obstacle Is The Way has been selected as May’s selection for the Product Hunt Book Club! I've written a Medium post to give you a quick introduction to the book and to facilitate discussion and conversation. Please let me know what you all think!
Irving Torres@irvingtorresyc · Freelance Designer
@ryanholiday I'm a big believer in stoicism and overcoming adversity so I have to say that I'm pumped to read your book. I've had it on my reading list for a while now.
✎ Andrew Warner@andrewwarner
AMA #2: Why are your hands covering your face in you profile photo?
Ryan HolidayMaker@ryanholiday · Author, Ego is the Enemy
@andrewwarner One of my favorite musicians Jackie Greene did it in a photo once and I've always liked the photo. A photographer at American Apparel took a version of it for the back cover of my first book, Trust Me I'm Lying and I use it for a lot of stuff now. My wife and I did a version at our wedding too. It's my favorite.
Zoe Landon@hupfen · Web Developer & Rabbit
I was recommended this book a few months back by a mentor of mine, along side The War of Art. Read them both; War of Art felt like disjoint, macho bravado to me (all "grr, punch your resistance in the face"), whereas Obstacle actually made sense. Especially for someone with depression, any philosophy that allows you to accept things will be broken and still give hope is a huge deal. I'm actually incorporating it into a talk I'm giving later in the year, since the whole approach of "yea, shit sucks, let's work with that fact" will probably resonate really well with my slightly cynical target audience. So, yea. If I had a little "stamp of approval" it'd be on this book. :)
Ryan HolidayMaker@ryanholiday · Author, Ego is the Enemy
@hupfen That's very kind of you. Thank you. The War of Art is one of my favorite books--and was actually quite influential in the writing of Obstacle. I definitely urge you to give it a second chance. It's worth it.
Erik TorenbergHunterHiring@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
AMA: What has been most interesting/surprising thing you've learned since releasing the book?
Ryan HolidayMaker@ryanholiday · Author, Ego is the Enemy
@eriktorenberg 1) Writing a book about stoicism is a bit inconvenient if you'd ever like to complain about anything ever again. People are always trying to make me 'live up to my own words' which is a total pain. 2) Just how many people have followed the precepts in their life but didn't know that there was a word or a philosophy for it. It's been really cool to connect with those people and reintroduce them to a philosophy they already KNEW but couldn't articulate. 3) Just last week I read a new passage in Marcus Aurelius's Meditations--one I have read dozens and dozens of times--that I never realized better articulates my own thesis better than I could have hoped. Funny how that works. "–But there are external obstacles… Not to behaving with justice, self-control, and good sense. –Well, but perhaps to some more concrete action. –But if you accept the obstacle and work with what you’re given, an alternative will present itself–another piece of what you’re trying to assemble. Action by action."
✎ Andrew Warner@andrewwarner
AMA: Ryan how have you used these ideas in your work life?
Ryan HolidayMaker@ryanholiday · Author, Ego is the Enemy
@andrewwarner I would say there is not a day that goes by that I do NOT use them. From beginning to end, there is something in stoicism to think about. Starting with this line from Marcus: ending with this line from Epictetus: "As you kiss your son good night whisper to yourself, 'He may be dead in the morning.' (the point being to practice and anticipate misfortune instead of pretending that it could never happen to you. To enjoy the things you have as you have them)