The Obstacle is the Way


The title of the book is drawn from a quote from Meditations, a series of personal writings by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” Holiday draws from Meditations, Aurelius, and the philosophy of stoicism to expand the idea that how we respond to obstacles is what defines us. Holiday argues that obstacles don’t inhibit success, they create success and that readers should see “through the negative, past its underside, and into its corollary: the positive.”

“We forget: In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.”

This quote stuck out to me in the reading due to the fact a lot of people in society either chalk up someone’s success or their failure solely on where they came from. Some say oh he’s successful because his families rich or no wonder he’s a failure and turned to violence he came from nothing. To me that’s the completely wrong mindset and this quote helps explain why. The quote begins by telling us that it doesn’t matter where we came from because that’s something out of our control as we grow up. The only thing that matters is what are YOU going to do with the things you can control to make it where you want to be in life. No excuses or pointing fingers it’s on you!

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