The Obstacle Is the Way

I read Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is the Way, at least to the point that I realized it’d be better to peck at it here and there, else the pile-on of stories and reminders would become tedious just chugging straight through. If you’ve been paying attention to Holiday’s must-subscribe reading newsletters, you’ll see many of those works and people and themes resurface here. I’ll keep it nearby to knock off a few more chapters as needed.

How Do You Make Life-Changing Decisions? | RyanHoliday.net

Books. Books. Books. People have been doing [whatever it is your deciding about] for a while now. They’ve been moving West, leaving school, investing their savings, getting dumped or filing for divorce, starting businesses, quitting their jobs, fighting, dying and fucking for thousands of years. This is all written down, often in the first person. Read it. Stop pretending you’re breaking new ground.

How Do You Make Life-Changing Decisions? | RyanHoliday.net

Missing the Point | RyanHoliday.net

Getting up and going for a run everyday doesn’t need to be “justified” a few months later by competing to finish an arbitrary number of miles in a certain amount of time against a bunch of other unhappy losers. No, you run because keeping a healthy body and clear mind is part of your job as a human being. Because its a commitment you made to yourself that you’re obligated to keep no matter how tired, how busy or how burn out you feel. In other words, it’s practice—proof of your ability—in always having a little bit extra in you.

Missing the Point | RyanHoliday.net

The value of physical pain is that it is finite. It ends when the ailment ends. We can use this as an opportunity to push on through, with the safety net of knowing it will eventually be over. It is practice.

Ryan Holiday. Just this weekend I was talking about the value of exercise qua mild self-harm. This is more articulate than I was.

Self-Direction « RyanHoliday.net

Think about how easy it has to have one more—to go beyond what you allowed yourself and have one more piece, one more glass, one more handful. And yet, think about how much harder it is to do one more—one more lap, one more page, one more hour, one more rep than you intended. There’s always rationalization on hand for the one and an convenient excuse ready for the other.

This is timely.

Self-Direction « RyanHoliday.net

Read to Lead: How to Digest Books Above Your “Level” – RyanHoliday.net

Many good ideas on mercenary reading here. Feel free to set aside the “rules” of front-to-back reading. Gotta participate actively and take what you need.

The work is an expression of the message, not the message itself. So forget everything but that message and how to apply it to your life. Dates, names, pronunciations–-they only matter in how they provide context for the lesson at hand.

And also:

You ought to ruin the ending–-or find out the basic assertions of the book–-because it frees you up to focus on your two most important tasks: 1) What does it mean? 2) Do you agree with it? The first 50 pages of the book shouldn’t be a discovery process for you; you shouldn’t be wasting your time figuring out what the author is trying to say. Instead, your energy needs to be spent on figuring out if he’s right and how you can benefit from it.

Read to Lead: How to Digest Books Above Your “Level” – RyanHoliday.net