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The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

by Ryan Holiday


When facing a problem too often we become stuck, depressed, or frustrated. But it needn’t be this way. There is a formula for success. Step by step, we can learn how to turn our adversities into advantages. We can decide if obstacles limit us or if they are opportunities.

About the Author

Ryan Holiday is media strategist for well-known clients like Tucker Max and Dov Charney. He is the Director of Marketing at American Apparel, where his work in advertising is internationally known. His marketing strategies are used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube, and Google, and have been written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker, and Fast Company.

Great ideas from this book

Problem solving

1. See the obstacle as a situation to face.

2. See the obstacle as a situation to face

3. Discipline your perception

4. Recognize your power

Emotions control

5. Steady your nerves.

6. Control your emotions.

7. Control your emotions.

Problem solving

8. Look at your problem objectively

9. Alter your perspective

10. Be focused only on things that you can change


11. Live in the present moment


12. Think differently.

Problem solving

13. Find the opportunity


14. The discipline of action.

15. Get moving.


16. Practice Persistence


17. Iterate.


18. Iterate.

Problem solving

19. Follow the process.


20. Do your job, do it right


21. What's right is what works

22. In praise of the flank attack

Problem solving

23. Use obstacles against themselves


24. Channel your energy

25. Seize the offensive


26. Discipline the Will

27. Build your inner citadel


28. Anticipate (Think Negatively).

29. Anticipate (Think Negatively)


30. Accept what you cannot change.

31. Love everything that happens


32. With perseverance through life.


33. Focus on others.

34. Focus on others.


35. Meditate on your mortality

Problem solving

36. Prepare to start again.