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

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Overview

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”  — Marcus Aurelius

We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn’t be this way. There is a formula for success that’s been followed by the icons of history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—a formula that let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the ...

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

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Overview

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”  — Marcus Aurelius

We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn’t be this way. There is a formula for success that’s been followed by the icons of history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—a formula that let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding triumphs we all seek.

These men and women were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted. Their success came from timeless philosophical principles laid down by a Roman emperor who struggled to articulate a method for excellence in any and all situations.

This book reveals that formula for the first time—and shows us how we can turn our own adversity into advantage.

 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/10/2014
Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying), "media manipulator" and master of the dark art of marketing, returns with a collection of bite-sized, intensely written aphorisms and parables about learning how to see "through the negative, past its underside, and into its corollary: the positive." Starting with figures no less august than Marcus Aurelius and John D. Rockefeller, Holiday collects historical anecdotes from politics, commerce, sports, and history—as well as some light re-readings of classical philosophy—and loosely structures them around the three skills he sees as essential to succeeding in the face of adversity: perception, action, and will. These sections outline stories and limited strategies that will encourage readers to creatively redefine obstacles as opportunities, act with less fear of failure by better processing the emotion, and develop the "resilience" and "flexibility" necessary to soldier through difficult situations. Holiday's charismatic, if slightly Delphic, stories will be welcomed by readers of The 48 Laws of Power and similar works of advice, but frustrating to readers accustomed to more empirically sourced and pedagogically developed works on motivation and adversity. Still, Holiday's performance is commanding and optimistic, sure to inspire readers to take new perspective on their apparent obstacles. (May.)
Publishers Weekly
02/03/2014
Since Jiang Zemin’s state visit to Africa in 1996 and his subsequent call to Chinese businesses to “go out” in search of opportunities abroad, China’s trade with Africa has grown dramatically, today surpassing its trade with either Europe or the U.S. But China’s investments, including massive building projects, are less significant for this rapidly evolving relationship, according to this 15-country survey by veteran African correspondent French (A Continent for the Taking), than the significant flow of new Chinese immigrants—often pushed out by the pressure and oppression back home as much as lured by opportunity. In vivid first-person reportage, French explores this momentous phenomenon, while challenging assumptions about China and Chinese immigrants. Lively interviews with Chinese entrepreneurs, African workers, politicians, and others reveal an already advanced socioeconomic and political landscape. Casual racism, strife between Chinese employers and native African workers, grassroots protests against Chinese inroads into markets, and political demagoguery exist side by side. Contrary to China’s official disclaimers, this relationship—based on acquisition of resources but also the securing of new markets for Chinese goods—bears a striking resemblance to Western colonialism. The book will appeal to students of China and Africa, and anyone interested in the shifting contours of the global economy and its geopolitical consequences. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591846352
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
  • Publication date: 5/1/2014
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 66,573
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 7.32 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

RYAN HOLIDAY Ryan Holiday is a media strategist and prominent writer on strategy and business. After dropping out of college at nineteen to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multiplatinum musicians. He served as director of marketing at American Apparel for many years, where his campaigns have been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube, and Google and written about in AdAge, the New York Times, and Fast Company.
His first book, Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator—which the Financial Times called an “astonishing, disturbing book”—was a debut bestseller and is now taught in colleges around the world. He currently lives in Austin, Texas, and writes at RyanHoliday.net and Thought Catalog and for the New York Observer.

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