icon-angle affirmation icon-arrow Arrow left icon-bell Notifications icon-book icon-calendar icon-caret icon-chevron icon-check-circle Close icon-close icon-compound icon-crown icon-crown-alt icon-crown-mono icon-edit icon-email icon-facebook icon-featured-star icon-featured-star-colored icon-file icon-file-meditation icon-file-mp3 icon-file-pdf icon-folder icon-get-pdf Group Headphones icon-join icon-linkedin icon-live-video icon-lock icon-map-pin icon-masterClasses Meditation Navigation Menu icon-messages icon-mic icon-mind icon-microClasses mp3 icon-music-note My List icon-oasis pdf person icon-play icon-play-circle icon-plusOne icon-pnotes Podcast qa-cta-icon icon-quote icon-quote-left icon-quote-right icon-reload Search Search icon-settings icon-skinny-arrow icon-star icon-star-filled icon-triangle-down icon-triangle-rounded icon-twitter icon-user icon-warning icon-website icon-youtube feature-affirmations feature-big-ideas feature-bonus-wrksheets feature-meditation feature-mp3-guides feature-mp3 feature-pdfs feature-pntv feature-posters feature-transformational feature-workbooks master-classes philosophers-notes feature-meditation feature-worksheet membership-icon-4@2x feature-watch feature-read feature-listen feature-connect

The Obstacle Is the Way
#61

Plus: The Paradox of Fire

video

Marcus Aurelius once wrote to himself in the journal he never intended to publish that we now know as Meditations that “The impediment to action advances the action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Ryan Holiday wrote a book inspired by that wisdom called The Obstacle Is the Way.

It’s brilliant. I highly recommend it. (And, if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about Stoicism and were wondering where to start: Start with Ryan’s The Daily Stoic. Might be my favorite book ever as Ryan brilliantly brings to life fresh translations of Seneca, Epictetus and Aurelius.)

So, The Obstacle Is the Way.

The impediment to action ADVANCES the action. What stands in the way BECOMES the way.

We’re always trying to make problems or “obstacles” go away. But what if we just let them BE the way? What if we trained ourselves to immediately accept and love what it is as we rub our hands together at the opportunity to create a better plan using this new variable as a catalyst and going from there?

In The Inner Citadel (a book about Aurelius recommended by Ryan written by the great French philosopher Pierre Hadot), we learn about “the paradox of fire”—”which grows stronger the more things are brought to it which could smother it, or at least present an obstacle to it.”

All of which brings us to Today’s +1:

What’s the #1 obstacle that’s currently in your way?

How can you turn it into an essential part of the way?

Fuel the fire.