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The Obstacle is the Way

I recently caught an excellent episode of The Tim Ferriss Show featuring the first four chapters of The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday So excellent, in fact, that having listened to it on the Monday evening, I had to go straight back again on the Tuesday morning and listen to it again in full on the way to work. Entitled How to Succeed in High-Stress Situations the episode has plenty of food for thought in terms of changing your approach to challenging situations.  

Touching on the topics of ‘adversarial growth’ and ‘post-traumatic growth’ Holiday describes how the old adage ‘that which doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger’ is more true than you might think.

The main message to take away was: obstacles will help you improve, and rather than viewing them negatively when they arrive, you might as well skip a few steps in your thinking and feeling so that you can see the opportunity inherent in the obstacle from the very beginning. 

‘Seeing through the negative, past its underside and into its corollary: the positive.’

I also found the anecdote about Nick Saban (University of Alabama NFL team’s coach) and ‘The Process’ very helpful. The path to success is paved with a ruthless focus on each tiny component, in the moment, following the philosophy ’let’s think about what we can do today; the task at hand’. You can check that part out from around 24 minutes into the episode. 

’Excellence is a matter of steps […] The Process is about finishing’.

As soon as I’ve finished re-reading Radical Candor (for the second and most definitely not last time) I’ll be downloading The Obstacle is the Way immediately.