Book Review: The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to AdvantageThe Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage by Ryan Holiday
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ryan’s book was the first proper introduction to Stoicism for me. I have to say I’m blown away by the concept of it.

Besides a healthy dose of Stoicism, Ryan also serves a great deal of historical and modern a day anecdotes that builds up toward one of the greatest Stoic mantra: The Obstacle is The Way

Ryan’s research and observation is commendable. And for me, as a writer, quite inspiring as well.

He brings in years of knowledge he gained by reading a whole lot of books. And turns them into lessons for his readers regarding how Perception Is Everything, and how Every Obstacle Is An Opportunity In Disguise.

This is a revolutionary book for me. One of those that will be a part of me forever and one that I’ll be returning to time and again.

Thank you Ryan Holiday for giving such a fresh perspective on things, and being an inspiration.

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Let Me Introduce… The Mystery Man

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Today, I want to tell you about the Mystery Man.

I call him so because I don’t know him much.

I only see him.

I think he must be around 70 years.

Why does his age matter more than any of his other description?

Because in this part of the world, where getting over 60 is automatically assumed as a period to rest on your laurels, the Mystery Man is here to learn something new. Something completely alien.

Something complicated and difficult even for us — the so called young ones.

He is here to learn 3D designing.

And I see him drawing 3D cubes. Everyday.

The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.

Aldous Huxley

Mystery Man is lean, almost sickly. His skin is wrinkled. And he is dressed in the most mundane of ways you can imagine.

His bespectacled eyes, though. They are so… rich. Satisfied. Happy.

A part of me wonders whether he is alone or has a family. Because, generally, in our culture, when a person grows old, his children take care of him (and they, mostly, do this out of love rather than compulsion).

So does he not have any children? Or are they just away? What about his wife? Is it just a hunger for knowledge that brings him here? Or did some unfortunate event force him to take up the challenge?

Every day, I want to talk to him. I want to know his story. To know his need. To know his inspiration. To know his drive.

And I want to thank him for unintentionally giving me a renewed determination, confidence, and a true motivation.

But, being the shy guy I am, I don’t

All I do is watch him.

Watch him squint his eyes at the computer screen as he fumbles with his mouse, hovering the cursor over complex software buttons.

Watch him frequently adjust his spectacles and smack his lips with an unhurried dedication toward building his cube.

Watch him triumph with a smile on his face.

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Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

Mark Twain

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

Sophia Loren