I just finished rereading “The Obstacle is The Way” by Ryan Holiday. It’s a great book that discusses how many people see their problems and turn them into opportunities. I can’t say enough about this book. It is no wonder as to why so many successful executives and professional coaches have read this book and highly recommend it.
There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is an event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.Ryan Holiday
We all have problems
All of us have obstacles in our life. It doesn’t matter if you are building a business from the ground up or if you are just thinking about running your first 5k. We will have challenges we must overcome. Life is full of challenges. Some we overcome and others we must learn to accept as is and learn from. The difference between successful people and others is the way they handle their problems. We have to transform our thinking into looking at our problems as a chance to learn and to grow as humans.
The parable of the King and the boulder
Ryan Holiday mentions a story in his book about a King that places a huge boulder in the middle of the roadway that leads into town. He did this so that he could see how people would react to encountering this obstacle that is in their way. He would then hide in the nearby bushes and watch.
Many people saw the boulder in their way and immediately turned back. Others gave it a quick shove to see if they could move it. When they were unable to move it they also turned back. One man came up to it and tried to move it. After being unsuccessful for a long period of time, this man had an idea come to him and ran into the bushes and returned with a branch that he could use as a lever. He was successful. Beneath the rock the man found a purse full of gold with a note from the King saying:
“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”
This is true for all of us. The only way to deal with a problem or obstacle is to go at it head-on. The rest of the book teaches us how to do this effectively and what to do if we are unable to resolve our issue.
3 tips for
adressing your problems
It comes down to:
- See the problem correctly
- act upon it
- Then endure and accept the outcome
“The Obstacle Is the Way” has a lot of great stories and examples of successful people using these three steps to help guide them through their chosen endeavors. We can all use this book to transform the way we see obstacles in our life. They are opportunities to learn and to grow.
This book is so good that I have added it to my Top 5 Leadership books.
The whole purpose behind my blog is to help people become the best people they can be. Hence, in one way or another each one of my posts is directly related to perceived problems or obstacles. If I’m doing this right then each post will help turn that obstacle into an opportunity.