We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
The Obstacle Is the Way Audiobook

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

Regular Price:£14.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

"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.

©2014 Ryan Holiday (P)2014 Tim Ferriss

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (313 )
5 star
 (226)
4 star
 (65)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.6 (269 )
5 star
 (187)
4 star
 (62)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.4 (274 )
5 star
 (171)
4 star
 (66)
3 star
 (27)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    M J Ball 01/12/2015
    M J Ball 01/12/2015 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stop complaining and get on with it!"
    Would you listen to The Obstacle Is the Way again? Why?

    This is great book. Although as others have said narrators should take a day off if they have a cold. I have listened to it 4 or 5 times.


    What other book might you compare The Obstacle Is the Way to, and why?

    In a nutshell this book reminded me of a cross between Mastery by Robert Green and a modern version of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I always enjoy listening to books that have mini biographies of people turning their situations around. Its always reassuring to know that other peoples lives don’t always go to plan as well. People who have had significantly worse days than mine have stuck with it and got through to the other side – often with fame and fortune for their trouble.


    Any additional comments?

    I found nothing new in the book but I find that I often need reminding that it’s not that bad and I should just get on with it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 23/07/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "see a problem as a blessing"

    a must read, if you are not familiar with stoicism then read this and if you are then in the intent to emphasise; read this. the book basically preaches that bad things are going to happen, accept it, see it as an opportunity to grow and a lesson to learn from because nothing that happens to you is more than you can bare.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Berry York, UK 11/06/2015
    D. Berry York, UK 11/06/2015 Member Since 2015

    Insathius

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good read, but slightly not what I was expecting"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, I think once you get toward the end of the book the theme gets a little repetitive and there is no need to complete it.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    If the philosophy was rooted with some actual philosophy this would have made the theory more enjoyable


    Which character – as performed by Ryan Holiday – was your favourite?

    Not applicable


    Was The Obstacle Is the Way worth the listening time?

    In my opinion no, I would have preferred something based on more evidence.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was delivered brilliantly, Ryan was a great performer. Unfortunately in my opinion the book didn't reach my expectations - I believe toward the end the book was entirely repeating the same material and wasted some of my time.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 29/11/2016 Member Since 2016

    tom_2005

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Droning voice ruins it"

    I don't know whether this is a good book as I couldn't listen any further. I think the writer's choice to narrate his own book wasn't the best idea. I should have gone with my first instinct on the sample. However, there's a significant period of the reading where Ryan Holiday has a thick cold. I think this just shows contempt for the buyer. This is where I stopped.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Lench 20/11/2016
    Robert Lench 20/11/2016

    wavy@ecosse.net

    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    84
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really good!"
    Any additional comments?

    Love all of Ryans book but this one felt like another step up. Loved it and have been recommending it to everyone i speak to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 17/11/2016 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "insightful, inspiring well written/read by author"

    Loved this.
    Listening for second time so far.
    Would thoroughly recommend.
    Have bought recommended reading now too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Henry 16/11/2016
    Matthew Henry 16/11/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic read"

    Ryan Holiday's work is so humbling. You can listen to this over and over again the book has infinite potential.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Kehoe 25/10/2016
    James Kehoe 25/10/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Helps you make better decisions "

    Helps you to make better decisions, and see things as they really are. Great intro to modern stoicism, and the thinkers behind it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Truan Mathias 24/08/2016
    Truan Mathias 24/08/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lots of Useful and Usable life lessons"

    Been an avid Tim Ferriss fan I'd heard many similar ideas before, but I believe you can't listen to a good idea about how to live well too many times. And the ideas here are well presented and allow you to believe that obstacles can not only be tackled but relished. I listened to this at a perfect time as I injured my back whilst listening to this book and performing circus shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paschal 26/07/2016
    Paschal 26/07/2016 Member Since 2012

    I like walking. Audiobooks are handy on long walks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    96
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    16
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth listening to"

    Anything that quotes Marcus Aurelius is worth listening to.

    The book is also worth listening to in that it shows that stoic philosophy is a practical thing to practice rather than just an academic exercise.

    It might have been better to just buy Marcus Aurelius's Meditations instead but I think I will enjoy and understand the Meditations more having listened to this book first.

    The author is wiser than his years. It's good in some ways when an author read his own work but an older voice with more gravitas might have impacted more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Jason DeFillippo
    Hollywood, CA
    08/05/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book I wish I had 25 years ago"

    This is an amazing book that sums up a lot of Stoicism with relatable stories and useful information. It's very akin to Robert Greene's books which makes sense since Ryan interned for him for a time. All of the stories are fantastic and the tips are all actionable and usable in everyday life while being entertaining to boot.

    I generally hate author reads and this is not great but also not too bad. I listened at 1.25x which tightens up the performance without losing too much in the way of inflections.

    A very annoying part of this audiobook though is that an hour and a half is an episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast that you can get on iTunes. That makes the book come in at roughly 4.5 hours if you don't want to listen to or have already heard that interview. I just wish that was in the description of the book.

    102 of 107 people found this review helpful
  • Patrick
    Lake Forest, CA, USA
    25/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "We have become soft and weak minded"
    What did you love best about The Obstacle Is the Way?

    The author, Ryan Holiday, surmises that many people give up too easy when faced with obstacles. With the emergence of technology and other advancements we have become soft and lazy. Many of the things we use to make our lives better have made us weak. We have lost our way and a lot of us are unable to generate fortitude to achieve our goals. According to Holiday,. "Great times are great softeners. Abundance can be its own obstacle." We have become easily stopped in the face of conflict and are becoming more unhappy.

    Holiday puts forth an approach for a generation that has too much and is stuck. It's more of an approach that gives the reader a new perspective for thriving amid chaos and dealing with everyday challenges. Holiday does not propose a recipe, a prescription or list of things to do. It's much more than that. It's more of an inquiry. Holiday invites the reader to reflect on the obstacles that are holding us back, making us unhappy and unfulfilled as humans. Holiday challenges us to reflect on how we discern our current set of problems. As we do so, we are able to understand the truth of our situation and separate out our our false preconceptions. As this occurs, we are able to see our obstacles with new eyes. We are able to change our relationship to our challenges and relate to them powerfully and viewing them as opportunities.

    Throughout the text the Holiday does a great job of sharing the collective wisdom of some of our greatest thinkers. It is not a treatise on their work. As Holiday introduces a distinction of a legendary philosopher, he also cites a real life case study of an individual who transformed their situation. Who changed their relationship to their situation and transformed it. He uses incidents of current day people as well as historical figures.

    I also purchased the hard copy of this book. It is on my desk and will serve as reference book. I also plan to give it as a holiday gift to my family, friends and co-workers.


    28 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • DJ Hill
    29/09/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good book but i could hardly stand to listen to it"
    Where does The Obstacle Is the Way rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    i like the short chapters, makes it easy to listen to a short bit on your way to work. Plus, i could never listen for long (see below)


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Here is an idea: if you have a raging sinus infection, or just a clogged nose that will not allow you to speak normally, and you are supposed to narrate a book that day, CALL IN SICK! Don't make your poor listener suffer through your disgusting snotty nose - all I wanted to do was give this guy a tissue. Nasty!


    89 of 98 people found this review helpful
  • Chip Franks
    Texas!
    25/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spectacular "Operating System" for Your Life"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Obstacle Is the Way to be better than the print version?

    I prefer audio versions of the books for the most part, because I love listening to them in the Jeep and using the time to learn. However, the material in this book is so good, I had to go out and get the print version, as well--because I found myself constantly saying, "Ooh, that's a great thought...I need to write that down," while I was driving!


    What other book might you compare The Obstacle Is the Way to and why?

    Seneca's Letters from a Stoic...Stoic philosophy, pretty straight forward.
    Marcus Aurelius' Meditations...ditto.
    James Altucher Choose Yourself...Both give great, concrete ways to make your life better by changing your thinking.


    What about Ryan Holiday’s performance did you like?

    I love Ryan, and this book is fantastic--but I didn't give five stars because the reading was a bit dry. I really enjoy the author's reading their own works, but more inflection, varied timing and such would be appreciated. Still, I loved it.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    Wow. Where do I begin? I'll start with one of the principles at the end--looking death in its face and realizing that we are mortal, and using that knowledge to light a fire under us to do something great in this life.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're reading this review, and you haven't gotten this book--do it. It's a great way of thinking, and it's one of the "quake moment" books that can truly have a great effect on you.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • ANDRÉ
    ORLANDO, FL, United States
    26/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good listen"

    Some minutes within the story I thought I was reading a Robert Greene's book, because there were many great characters from the past, with the same paced rhythm. In the end Ryan Holiday explains that Robert Greene is his mentor and it all made sense.
    Overall, it is a good book. I don't think it is practical one, but the author says it is.
    I didn't give it a five star because the last hour and a half it is a podcast between the author and Tim Ferris, the author of 4 hour workweek.
    I am eager to listen to Ryan Holiday next book.

    29 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    23/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book will change the way you think"
    Where does The Obstacle Is the Way rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have read the kindle version and listened to the Audible version several times. The ideas are timeless and empowering. I find myself recalling the book throughout the day. I have also found myself trying to relay the lessons and concepts to my own daughters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Marcus Aurelius


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    Focusing exclusively on what is in our control magnifies our power. Every ounce of energy directed at things we can’t actually influence is wasted, self-indulgent & self-destructive.


    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Bertrand Doux
    27/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator should be banned from speaking in public"

    Terrible narration, I couldnt help wondering what the person who chose that narrator was thinking. This is an audio book!

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • M.J.
    15/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Save your credit"
    What disappointed you about The Obstacle Is the Way?

    It's flimsy. I found myself wondering how long it would be if you took out the words, "The Obstacle Is the Way," which were repeated like a chorus in between loose anecdotes. Not my favorite.

    Also, that was a nasty cold he had for the first two hours.


    22 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Alessandro Fadini
    New York, USA
    22/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A mountain of stereotypes without a thread"
    What disappointed you about The Obstacle Is the Way?

    In the preface, the author steals 30 minutes of your time to tell you what the book IS NOT.
    According to him, the book is not just a collection of quotes and old sayings and stereotypes.
    In fact, you will discover that you wasted your time twice because that is exactly what the book is, a salad of random quotes served with a dressing with a hint of badly regurgitated concepts from stoic philosophy. Do not worry: if you do not know what stoicism is, the author will not explain it, but rather give you a few pseudo-stoic quotes - or non quotes from celebrities than in the mind of the writer represent stoic philosophy.

    Horrible!
    It's the first audible book that I regret.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ryan Holiday again?

    No.


    What didn’t you like about Ryan Holiday’s performance?

    I am not picky with voices, but he seems to have recorded this with a stuffy nose or a cold of some sort


    What character would you cut from The Obstacle Is the Way?

    The author.


    68 of 84 people found this review helpful
  • David
    28/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I tried to like this book, but was disappointed"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. This audiobook was a disappointment. I purchased this due to Tim Ferriss's recommendation, but I got very little out of it. Lots of platitude, not much "meat". It's a book that pulls from other written sources, but draws little from relatable real-life experience.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The least interesting were the anecdotes and quotes from Marcus Aurelius -- I felt these were used as "ancient sources of wisdom", and seemed like a crutch.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator had a cold for a good part of the book, which seemed very unprofessional. I'd encourage the publisher to re-record these parts.


    29 of 36 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.