- With short but sweet advice and pointed historical examples, Ryan Holiday envelops you in a Stoic world where people not only can conquer any obstacle, but take advantage of it, enjoy it and become better and stronger people because of it. Holiday is a very interesting guy who has worked closely with critically acclaimed author Robert Greene since dropping out of college at age 19 and I would highly recommend his podcasts with Tim Ferriss.
- The most successful people have a method and a framework for understanding, appreciating, and acting upon obstacles life throws at us. Great individuals and great companies find a way to turn weakness into strengths. The greater the obstacle, the greater their/its strength becomes (pair with Taleb’s amazing Antifragile)
- Every obstacle is unique to each of us but the responses they elicit are the same – fear, frustration, confusion, helplessness, depression, anger
- With the advice in this book you will be able to attack any obstacle by seeing clearly, acting correctly and enduring and accepting the world as it is
- Our perception can be a source of strength or our greatest weakness
- See things as they really are, without their legend or ornamentation
- Live in the present, day by day. Do not always try to figure out what things mean – why they are the way they are.
- Don’t waste time on false constructs
- Of course you want to avoid negative situations if you can but what if you were able to remember in the moment the second act, that opportunity to improve even the slightest, that comes with unfortunate situations
- Action is commonplace. Proper action is not
- Genius often really is just persistence in disguise
- Stop looking for angels and start looking for angles
- What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first steps to something better
- We must be willing to roll the dice and lose. Prepare, at the end of the day, for none of it to work
- Will is our internal power which can never be affected by the outside world. True will is quiet humility, resilience, and flexibility; the other kind of will is weakness disguised as bluster and ambition
- Love everything that happens – Amor Fati
- Death gives life meaning. Having that finite timeline pushes you and inspires you
What I got out of it
- As we all know, simple often does not mean easy. The themes in this book not only cover how to face and conquer obstacles, but how to live a happy and successful life. Much of the advice may not be novel, in fact much of it is Stoic and dates back thousands of years, but it is nevertheless invaluable. People are capable of anything as long as they don’t confuse perception with observation, can learn from their mistakes and can embrace the problems everybody undoubtedly will face with a clear mind, acting correctly and accepting the world as it is.