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Publisher's Summary

"The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." (Marcus Aurelius)
We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn't be this way. There is a formula for success that's been followed by the icons of history - from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs - a formula that let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding triumphs we all seek.
These men and women were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted. Their success came from timeless philosophical principles laid down by a Roman emperor who struggled to articulate a method for excellence in any and all situations.
This book reveals that formula for the first time - and shows us how we can turn our own adversity into advantage.
©2014 Ryan Holiday (P)2014 Tim Ferriss
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jason DeFillippo on 05-08-14

Great book I wish I had 25 years ago

This is an amazing book that sums up a lot of Stoicism with relatable stories and useful information. It's very akin to Robert Greene's books which makes sense since Ryan interned for him for a time. All of the stories are fantastic and the tips are all actionable and usable in everyday life while being entertaining to boot.

I generally hate author reads and this is not great but also not too bad. I listened at 1.25x which tightens up the performance without losing too much in the way of inflections.

A very annoying part of this audiobook though is that an hour and a half is an episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast that you can get on iTunes. That makes the book come in at roughly 4.5 hours if you don't want to listen to or have already heard that interview. I just wish that was in the description of the book.

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128 of 134 people found this review helpful


By Amazon Customer on 10-23-14

This book will change the way you think

Where does The Obstacle Is the Way rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have read the kindle version and listened to the Audible version several times. The ideas are timeless and empowering. I find myself recalling the book throughout the day. I have also found myself trying to relay the lessons and concepts to my own daughters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Marcus Aurelius

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

Focusing exclusively on what is in our control magnifies our power. Every ounce of energy directed at things we can’t actually influence is wasted, self-indulgent & self-destructive.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By M J Ball on 12-01-15

Stop complaining and get on with it!

Would you listen to The Obstacle Is the Way again? Why?

This is great book. Although as others have said narrators should take a day off if they have a cold. I have listened to it 4 or 5 times.

What other book might you compare The Obstacle Is the Way to, and why?

In a nutshell this book reminded me of a cross between Mastery by Robert Green and a modern version of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I always enjoy listening to books that have mini biographies of people turning their situations around. Its always reassuring to know that other peoples lives don’t always go to plan as well. People who have had significantly worse days than mine have stuck with it and got through to the other side – often with fame and fortune for their trouble.

Any additional comments?

I found nothing new in the book but I find that I often need reminding that it’s not that bad and I should just get on with it.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful


By Matthew Henry on 11-16-16

Fantastic read

Ryan Holiday's work is so humbling. You can listen to this over and over again the book has infinite potential.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Alex.D on 09-02-15

Fantastic book

Highly consistent and on topic, the whole book felt like 1 chapter which I enjoyed. It also sparked my interest in the people discussed through out the book. This is one of those books that will leave you on a trail of exploring deeper.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Ben on 02-10-17

Blown away!

Blown away, amazing how relatable all the stories are and Ryan has a way off motivating you, occasionally with humour, to make practical changes to your perception to help transform scenarios into what you want them to be.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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