Monday, October 6, 2014

21 Inspiring Quotes from "The Obstacle is the Way" by Ryan Holiday to Turn Trials into Triumphs

If you haven't read this book yet, you should. Ryan Holiday deconstructs the basic, timeless principles behind stoic philosophy, first pioneered by thinkers like Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, into a practical guidebook for how to live life. Totally accessible and grounding, it's a book you'll likely go back to over and over again for inspiration. I have already.

Here are 21 of my favorite, inspiring quotes:

1. "You will come across obstacles in life - fair and unfair. And you will discover, time and time again, that what matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure. You will learn that this reaction determines how successful we will be in overcoming - or possibly thriving because of - them."

2. "Too often we react emotionally, get despondent, and lose our perspective. All that does is turn bad things into really bad things."

3. "...if we have our wits fully about us, we can step back and remember that situations, by themselves, cannot be good or bad. This is something - a judgement - that we, as human beings, bring to them with our perceptions."

4. "There is always a countermove..."

5. "We can't change the obstacles themselves - that part of the equation is set - but the power of perspective can change how the obstacles appear. How we approach, view, and contextualize an obstacle, and what we tell ourselves it means, determines how daunting and trying it will be to overcome."

6. "Where the head goes, the body follows."

7. "But every ounce of energy directed at things we can't actually influence is wasted - self-indulgent and self-destructive. So much power - ours, and other people's - is fritted away in this manner."

8. "Focus on the moment, not the monsters that may or may not be up ahead."

9. "When given an unfair task, some rightly see it as a chance to test what they're made of - to give it all they've got, knowing full well how difficult it will be to win. They see it as an opportunity because it is often in that desperate nothing-to-lose state that we are our most creative."

10. "No way around it: It's on you."

11. "...genius often really is just persistence in disguise."

12. "Stop looking for angels, and start looking for angles."

13. "Respect the craft and make something beautiful."

14. "How you do anything is how you can do everything."

15. "Just our best, that's it. Not the impossible. We must be willing to roll the dice and lose."

16. "True will is quiet humility, resilience, and flexibility; the other kind of will is weakness disguised by bluster and ambition."

17. "We protect our inner fortress so it may protect us."

18. "But there is always some good - even if only barely perceptible at first - contained within the bad. And we can find it and be cheerful because of it."

19. "Perseverance is something larger. It's the long game. It's about what happens not just in round one but in round two and every round after - and then the fight after that and the fight after that, until the end."

20. "Lend a hand to others. Be strong for them, and it will make you stronger."

21. "Behind mountains are more mountains...One does not overcome an obstacle to enter the land of no obstacles."

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