The Obstacle Is the Way
By: Ryan Holiday
Rich Sheridan, CEO and Co-Founder
Every once in a while an old book re-emerges as the perfect book for the time we are in now. The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday is a book that channels the wisdom of the ancients. It includes many stories of the stoics such as Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. Is it true "there is really nothing new under the sun?" This certainly isn't the first time we humans have faced unprecedented difficulties. New leaders and powerful new ways of doing things, have ALWAYS emerged during these times.
This classic book is a must read (or re-read) for the times we are in now. It feels like every single day there is a new obstacle to be overcome in our business and personal lives. And they aren't tiny, little, stub-your-toe obstacles, but massive boulders. We face an important choice as leaders: walk away assuming the immovable object in our path is too difficult to overcome, or be inspired by the obstacle... treat it like the greatest opportunity we will see in our lifetime. As much as our team likes to call me "Chief Optimist", I have to admit the last 18 months have dented that enthusiasm. Until now. Ryan Holiday has inspired me anew, re-energized me about the challenges we face.
In the founding of Menlo Innovations, we chose to "end human suffering in the world as it relates to technology." We chose to "return joy to the most unique endeavor mankind has ever undertaken - the invention of software." The obstacles we faced in 2001 were no less daunting.
Thank you Ryan Holiday not only for the inspiration and renewed hope, but also the specific encouragement around perception (controlling our emotions, and practicing objectivity), action (get moving and iterate) and will (perseverance and 'get ready to start again'). This book revived my inner optimist: if you are stuck in a room full of manure, keep digging! There is a pony in here somewhere!
Get a copy for yourself here!