If you struggle at all with obstacles, this outstanding book will help you.
Books like the one I am reviewing today, have been my mentors for the past 28 years. I struggled for the first half of my life with terrible self-esteem, low self-belief, and the feeling that my introversion and other obstacles were why I could never succeed in life.
A Daily Investment in Personal Development Changed My Life
I began by reading 15 minutes every morning, and as I started to see a noticeable change in the way I was thinking and acting, I increased it. Over the years I have read thousands of books. That is not an exaggeration. Daily personal development is a big part of building a successful life and a successful business.
Going forward, as another way I can serve you, I will review a book that I have read, so you can decide if it is one that may help you in your journey.
The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday, is the best book on moving through obstacles I have ever read. The author utilizes historical figures and time tested philosophy to help you see that obstacles are not what keep you from success. They are, in fact, your path to success. All Quotes in this article are directly from the book in Ryan Holiday’s words.
“On the battlefield or in the boardroom, across oceans and many centuries, members of every group, gender, class, cause, and business have had to confront obstacles and struggle to overcome them–learning to turn those obstacles upside down.”
Obstacles are a constant in any well-lived life. They are not signs that what we are doing will not work. They are actually teachers and tools that shape us and sharpen us. They make us grow and become better.
The book is divided into three parts that build on each other.
Part One is About Our Perception
For most of us, our perception is our reality. It is how we consume the world around us and then interpret what it means. Therefor, to the degree we can alter our perception we will alter how we see what we see. This has a massive influence on what we do.
“We will see things simply and straightforwardly, as they truly are–neither good not bad. This will be an incredible advantage for us in the fight against obstacles.”
This section of the book will take you through a journey that uncovers your perception, power, emotions, objectivity, and thinking. You will learn so much about how you are seeing things versus how you can see them. One example that is particularly resonating is the number of major companies that began in the worst of times economically and rose to great heights, because the founders of those companies perceived opportunity where others perceived hopelessness.
Part Two is About Action
How we think will always guide our actions. So it follows that after you have focused on the thinking part in part one, that you move on to the acting part.
“Our movements and decisions define us: We must be sure to act with deliberation, boldness, and persistence. Those are the attributes of right and effective action. Nothing else–not thinking or evasion or aid from others. Action is the solution and the cure to our predicaments.”
This section will take you through the components of acting in the face of your obstacles. Some of the ideas you are familiar with, like taking a step, persistence, following a process. channeling your energy, and doing what’s right and what works. I can promise you though, these fundamentals will take on an entirely new light when put into the context of your obstacles actually being your way through to your success. Here is one passage that I just have to share with you from this section, it’s just so good:
“Martin Luther King Jr., taking Gandhi’s lead, told his followers that they would meet “physical force with soul force.” In other words, they would use the power of opposites. In the face of violence, they would be peaceful, to hate they would answer with love–and in the process, they would expose those attributes and indefensible and evil.”
So powerful a lesson!
Part Three is About Will
Once we are in action, it is our will to press forward that will keep us going.
“We must prepare for adversity and turmoil, we must learn the art of acquiescence and practice cheerfulness even in dark times. Too often people think that will is how bad we want something. In actuality, the will has a lot more to do with surrender than with strength. Try “God willing” over “the will to win” or “willing it into existence,” for even those attributes can be broken. True will is quiet humility, resilience, and flexibility; the other kind of will is weakness disguised as bluster and ambition. See which lasts longer under the hardest of obstacles.”
This powerful section takes you through a number of things including letting go as a way of going through, loving the experience, perseverance, and something bigger than yourself, among several other powerful insights.
By the time you will have finished your first read through, if you are like me, your pages will be market up with highlights and your journal will be full of incredible nuggets. As I mentioned in the opening, this book is easily among the best I have ever read in the personal development space. I give it the highest recommendation I could give any book and I encourage you to grab a copy and start your learning.
Click here to get the book: The Obstacle is The Way, by Ryan Holiday
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