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The Obstacle Is the Way book cover

The Obstacle Is the Way Quotes

Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.
The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.
We forget: 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.
If an emotion can't change the condition or the situation you're dealing with, it is likely an unhelpful emotion. Or, quite possibly, a destructive one. But it's what I feel. Right, no one said anything about not feeling it. No one said you can't ever cry. Forget "manliness." If you need to take a moment, by all means, go ahead. Real strength lies in the control or, as Nassim Taleb put it, the domestication of one's emotions, not in pretending they don't exist.
Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing and herever we are going, we owe it to ourselves, to our art, to the world to do it well.
Where the head goes, the body follows. Perception precedes action. Right action follows the right perspective.
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.
Andrew Carnegie famously put it. There’s nothing shameful about sweeping. It’s just another opportunity to excel—and to learn. But you, you’re so busy thinking about the future, you don’t take any pride in the tasks you’re given right now. You just phone it all in, cash your paycheck, and dream of some higher station in life. Or you think, This is just a job, it isn’t who I am, it doesn’t matter. Foolishness. Everything we do matters—whether it’s making smoothies while you save up money or studying for the bar—even after you already achieved the success you sought.
In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices. —EPICTETUS.
In every situation, life is asking us a question, and our actions are the answer.
why it happened to you.
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.
What such a man needs is not courage but nerve control, cool headedness. This he can get only by practice. —THEODORE ROOSEVELT.
Each time, you’ll learn something. Each time, you’ll develop strength, wisdom, and perspective. Each time, a little more of the competition falls away. Until all that is left is you: the best version of you.
Epictetus told his students, when they’d quote some great thinker, to picture themselves observing the person having sex. It’s funny, you should try it the next time someone intimidates you or makes you feel insecure. See them in your mind, grunting, groaning, and awkward in their private life—just like the rest of us.
To prevent becoming overwhelmed by the world around us, we must, as the ancients practiced, learn how to limit our passions and their control over our lives. It takes skill and discipline to bat away the pests of bad perceptions, to separate reliable signals from deceptive ones, to filter out prejudice, expectation, and fear. But it’s worth it, for what’s left is truth. While others are excited or afraid, we will remain calm and imperturbable. We will see things simply and straightforwardly, as they truly are—neither good nor bad.
Blessings and burdens are not mutually exclusive.
Failure really can be an asset if what you’re trying to do is improve, learn, or do something new.
Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant. —VIKTOR FRANKL.
Certain things in life will cut you open like a knife. When that happens—at that exposing moment—the world gets a glimpse of what’s truly inside you. So what will be revealed when you’re sliced open by tension and pressure? Iron? Or air? Or bullshit?.
We must all either wear out or rust out, every one of us. My choice is to wear out. —THEODORE ROOSEVELT.
What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first steps to something better. —WENDELL PHILLIPS.
Persist and resist". Persist in your efforts. Resist giving into distraction, discouragement, and disorder. - Epictetus.
In its own way, the most harmful dragon we chase is the one that makes us think we can change things that are simply not ours to change. That someone decided not to fund your company, this isn’t up to you. But the decision to refine and improve your pitch? That is. That someone stole your idea or got to it first? No. To pivot, improve it, or fight for what’s yours? Yes.