Latish Sehgal's Blog

Book Notes: The Obstacle Is the Way

Read On: May 2016
Reading Time: 6 hours
Rating: 7/10


The book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”


  • Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them. Great individuals, like great companies, find a way to transform weakness into strength.
  • Perception: How we see and understand what occurs around us, and what we decide those events will mean. We decide what we will make of each situation. Our perceptions are the things that we are in complete control of.
  • When people panic, they make mistakes. They just react, but not to what they need to react to.
  • With enough exposure, you can adapt out fears that are bred from unfamiliarity. Unfamiliarity is simple to fix (Simple does not mean easy).
  • Focusing exclusively on what is in our power magnifies and enhances our power.
  • Once you have managed perceptions properly, the next thing is to act. Act with deliberation, boldness and persistence.
  • Failure shows us the way, by showing us what isn’t the way.
  • Will is the discipline of the heart and the soul. It is the one thing we control completely, always.


The book was a short read, and had a lot of stories in it. Being already familiar with the Stoic philosphy, I did not get a lot of new information out of it, but I would recommend it if you are new to Stoicism.

P.S I have moved all my Book Notes to Read My Book Notes.