'The Obstacle is the Way' - Book Review [Video]


We all face obstacles in our lives. But what if I say to you that those obstacles in front of you means that you are going in the right direction?

By Ahmed khalifa

We all face obstacles in our lives. But what if I say to you that those obstacles in front of you means that you are going in the right direction? Hence, 'The Obstacle is the Way', which is a brilliant book by Ryan Holiday.

Instead of looking those barriers in front of you as a barrier, perhaps we can shift our mindset on how we can adjust our way of thinking by using those obstacles to our advantages and create something that you never thought possible.

Ryan Holiday is one of the my favourite author and in this book, he explained how you can align your thinking with the help of real-world examples of others who have overcome major obstacles by taking advantage of the situation.

You can watch the video below (with captions)...:

...or you can read the transcripts below.


It doesn't matter who you are, we're always getting tested by the world, the universe. It's always testing us.

Whether we are worthy, whether we're good enough, whether if you're going to fall down you are going to get back up, constantly tested.

But then have you ever wondered whether this thing, this test, this obstacle, whether that is the right way to go, whether that is the right path that you should follow?

Because here's the thing, whatever obstacle that we have, we decide how we react to it. Because of course they're going to make us frustrated, angry, annoyed, just really, really pissed off. Like, what is going on?

Whatever obstacle this is, it will be unique to us and how we react to it will be up to us as well. Because certain obstacles will make us angry, annoyed, frustrated, confused, depressed, sad. Any of these things and we get to decide how we react to it.

So the question is what if this thing, this test, this obstacle, what if that is the way that you should go? And that exactly what this book is about, "The Obstacle Is The Way" by Ryan Holiday.

I'm going to be doing a review on it here.

And it's not about telling yourself, “Oh, this is not so bad, this obstacle”. It's about how you should look at this obstacle and see it as a good thing. And to will yourself to see it as good thing you are on the right path, you are going in the right direction and should keep going.

So I want to briefly go over why this book is such a great book, brilliant book and just to briefly go about it. But obviously before we get too far ahead, don't forget to subscribe and like the video while you're at it.

And I want to explain to you why this is a really good book for you to think about on the ancient art of turning adversity to advantage.

It's no secret that I've been open about being deaf and I've been open about how this is challenging me and the challenges that I faced. There are barriers in front of me and I've got videos about that in a separate YouTube playlist and you can check that out.

But here's the thing. It made me realise, it maybe took me too long to realise, that maybe I can use that to my advantage.

Maybe it's something that I can use that will help me to get further in life or to get another opportunity in a different way.

Or maybe where ever I wanted to go, that path is not the intended path, but there's another path that I should go to.

That maybe, might be more difficult or maybe just another way to get in there, but maybe that's the way. Maybe because of the obstacle you just take a detour, take a diversion on a different way to get to that goal and that's kind of what the book is really generally about.

I have made a tonne of notes when reading this book and what I've learned as well so many things. But among the things that I have learned is that there are three steps into overcoming obstacles.

Three Steps Into Overcoming Obstacles

Look at the following in our lives:

  1. how we look at our specific problems, our attitude or approach.
  2. the energy and creativity that break them down and turn them into opportunities.
  3. the cultivation and maintenance of yourself that will allow you to handle that and handle difficulties around it.

So it's all about the perception of it, the action and the will. These are the three things that are really covered in quite good details.

But it does emphasis a lot on how to react to the obstacle because it claims that the only way you can survive and overcome the obstacle is that if you keep your emotions in check.

Because your energy is going to be spent too much on trying to overcome it in a negative way.

If you have a negative reaction, you're going to spend a lot of energy on that, but it's not going to get you anywhere.

But if you use the energy else where and use it as an opportunity, then maybe you can overcome it in a better way than you thought.

A lot of people might be thinking, wait, you can find opportunities in obstacles?

But then yes, you can. I think you should maybe look at it in your own life and think about what obstacles happened in your way that made you go in a different direction and I'm sure there are a tonne of people out there whether they are famous or not, that had that happened to them.

For example, there could be a person who really wanted to be a professional sports person but did not because he was injured, she was injured, and then ended up doing something else.

Off the top of my head, I know that how Lewis Howes, he did that from 'The School of Greatness'. He trained really hard to be a professional American Football player, but he got serious injury and he got depressed and he overcome that by having a lifestyle business and having an extremely popular podcast as well and interviewed a tonne of people who are big names.

So that's an obstacle from one person. I've told you my obstacle and it's just about how you can use that to create new opportunities, new ideas.

Now, of course, it doesn't mean that you just sit back, relax and just let the obstacle happen and just wait for new opportunities.

No, you gotta work for it. You can't just sit around and wait. What I would say and what the book also says is that you should treat obstacles like a feedback system.

That way you can look at it and you can analyse it and think about what you should do next because you shouldn't always be discouraged, You know it's not okay to quit and that's why you should treat failure as feedback.

Giving you precise instructions on how to improve because it's trying to teach you something as well. I really can go over about it in so much more details, on the notes I've been making on the book.

But, long story short, get it. It's just such a brilliant book, one of my favourite books.

I know I'm going to be reading it again and again and it just shows you that despite the negative things that happen in all of our lives, there are ways to get around it and there are ways to overcome it and there ways to allow that to make you a better person.

Now of course it's not easy to immediately think like that when there comes a problem or serious situation.

Of course it's so hard to think in a positive way. I'm not saying that. What I am saying is don't let that knock you down and then you stay down because we need to move forward with things and we've all had those challenges.

We've all had those moments when we just feel like, I can't cope anymore in terms of this challenge or this job, this task, this relationship I have or whatever.

See it as an opportunity to see if you can do something about it. But at the same time get this book. It's so so good. Let me know if you've read it, I'm really curious to know what you think about it.

At the same time I would love to know if you have a story about if you had an obstacle that kind of stopped you on your path to reach that specific goal.

What did you do? Did you let it get to you? Did you get around it? Did you find a new opportunity?

I would love to know any of these stories. Let me know in a comment down below.

In the meantime, I will speak to you again soon.

Take care.