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The Obstacle is The Way: My Favourite Quotes

The Obstacle is The Way: My Favourite Quotes

I just shared the audio version of The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday with a couple of friends tonight, so I thought I would post a few of my favourite quotes here.

In my opinion this book is a must read for proper mindset.

In any circumstance your mindset (whether you choose good or bad) has the power to build you up to conquer your circumstance or break you down and destroy you.

It's like the story I recently heard re-told in the movie Tomorrowland:

There are two wolves battling within each of us. One wolf represents darkness and despair, the other light and hope.

So which one survives?

The one you feed.


If you choose to focus on the negatives and treat yourself as a victim, you are feeding the wolf of darkness. However, if you choose to focus on the wolf of light, you have the power to survive any circumstance.

It's all about where you place your focus.

Mindset is one of those funny things that you have to constantly be working on. It takes constant reminders and upkeep.

That's exactly what The Obstacle is the Way provides for me. I've now listened to it 4 times through and some chapters as many as 10 times. It's pure mindset fuel!

So with that, here are some of my favourite quotes from the book. Some of these are quotes themselves:

“There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.”

“Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.” - Marcus Aurelius

"It’s okay to be discouraged. It’s not okay to quit. To know you want to quit but to plant your feet and keep inching closer until you take the impenetrable fortress you’ve decided to lay siege to in your own life—that’s persistence.” (This may be my favourite one. The chapter containing this quote is one of the ones I've listened to 10+ times)

“The only guarantee, ever, is that things will go wrong. The only thing we can use to mitigate this is anticipation. Because the only variable we control completely is ourselves.”

“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”

“In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given. And the only way you’ll do something spectacular is by using it all to your advantage.”

“To argue, to complain, or worse, to just give up, these are choices. Choices that more often than not, do nothing to get us across the finish line.”

and, a few bonus quotes from Marcus Aurelius and Seneca:

"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” - Marcus Aurelius

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” - Marcus Aurelius

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” - Marcus Aurelius

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” - Seneca

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” - Seneca

"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” - Seneca

“Wealth is the slave of a wise man. The master of a fool ” - Seneca

All fairly obvious, yet these are reminders I seem to need to give myself every day! Hope they're useful to some of you too!

- Derek