Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: The Obstacle is the Way

The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

The best way to let you know what this book is all about is to quote the author:

“There is only one way to accomplish your goals and that’s to meet your problems with the right action. Therefore, we can always (and only) greet our obstacles:

  • With energy
  • With persistence
  • With a coherent and deliberate process
  • With iteration and resilience
  • With pragmatism
  • With strategic vision
  • With craftiness and savvy
  • And an eye for opportunity and pivotal moments”

Even though this book was published in 2014, its message resonates with our challenging experiences over the past two years. As the title indicates, this book is all about handling obstacles that stand in the way of achieving our goals.

The author adheres to the same philosophy that I do. He states, “A crises is a terrible thing to waste.” He mentions a number of successful companies that started out in times of crises:

  • Hewlett Packard: in 1935 during the Great Depression
  • General Motors: Panic of 1907
  • Microsoft: During the recession of 1973
  • Coors: During the depression of 1873 (that one makes sense)
  • LinkedIn: Post dot-com bubble burst

I feel confident we will see a number of great businesses grow out of our latest crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021 (I hope that’s when it ends).

The author also talks about how hard times lead to great innovation. They get our creative juices going and they fortify our stamina to plow through and meet our goals. I have always believed that we are all a lot tougher than we think we are, and that as humans—as Americans—we strive to find a way out of whatever dilemma we are in.

To be successful, the author says:

  • Always persevere
  • Always learn to love our fate and what happens to us
  • Always protect our inner self, retreat into ourselves
  • Always submit to a greater and large cause
  • Always remind ourselves of our own mortality
  • Always prepare to start the cycle once again

This is a book is on the great lesson of the pragmatism that it takes to be a survivor; there is no fooling oneself, there is not hiding our head in the sand hoping the problems will disappear. There is only meeting our obstacles head-on.

“See things for what they are. Do what we can. Endure and bear what we must. What blocked the path is not the path. What once impeded action advances action. The obstacle is the way.”

I suggest you not only read this book but keep it handy because you never know when you are going to need it.

Dan Beaulieu is president of D.B. Management Group.

The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

By Ryan Holiday

Copyright: 2014 By Portfolio/Penguin Group

Pages: 202 with Index

Price: Kindle; $10.99/Hardcover: $14.99

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