The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

What I Read This Week: Book 13/52

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

Dear Reader,

Thank you for stopping by!

I keep a Ryan Holiday book in constant rotation. Every year, I read his The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living, and now I have moved on to his third published book, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph.

I discovered his newsletter, Daily Stoic, in 2016 and have been an avid follower ever since. Ryan is not just a writer I admire; he’s become one of my writing idols. When I decided to transition into writing full-time, one of my goals for a long-term career is to produce a book a year, a feat Ryan has been accomplishing since 2016.

However, I was familiar with the Stoics before coming across Ryan’s work. Having grown up on the History Channel, I learned about Seneca and the other Stoics in a documentary and was instantly obsessed, as our street address was 32 Seneca Road. However, it wasn’t until elementary school that I learned that our street address wasn’t named after the Roman Philosopher but likely got its name from the Indigenous people of Seneca who lived in the New York area. 

This led to my next obsession: wanting to be Native American. I even tried to build tipi with the logs my father received to cut into our firewood each winter season. But then, when my sister tried to help and picked up a log that still had branches attached, she ended up breaking her finger, and I gave up my obsession with Indigenous life and went back to the stoics. It seemed safer that way. Though Seneca did die by forced suicide, but that’s another story.

The nice thing about Ryan Holiday’s books is that you don’t have to read them in order, so while Ego Is the Enemy is the fourth book that Ryan has published, I will be skipping to Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts which I was reminded of from the Hungry Authors Podcast Episode 45

As a spiritual person who isn’t a fan of organized religion, I find the Stoics an excellent constant reminder to focus on what you can change and release anything that is not in your control, which is why I read Ryan’s Daily Stoic every year. The daily passage is a great way to remind yourself what is essential.

So, I will leave you with one of my favorite passages from Marcus Aurelius and hope you have a wonderful week.

“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own – not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural.” ―Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Thank you for reading!

Tell me, Reader, what are you reading this week? Comment below!

Last week’s What I Read: Confessions of an Art Addict by Peggy Guggenheim

I hope I have inspired you to pursue your dreams and that you will stick around to see how my journey turns out!

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