Got a Problem? No Problem.

It’s what I call my lazy post.  Instead of thinking really hard about what to say or waiting for my brain to involuntarily become active and wise during a lazy Labor Day weekend, why not spend time writing about something seen or something read?  Something worthwhile, that is.

This is dedicated to all those times when you have encountered a problem, any problem. A time where you have examined it, pondered it, wondered what you should do, felt frustrated and finally defeated by it.

My recommendation is very simple, it’s for you to read a fairly recently published book called:

 The Obstacle is the Way : The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumphs.

It presents a different way of looking at life and all the problems that you may face. In other words, it’s another way to look at the cards that you are dealt and how you go about making them work for instead of against you .

A few of the precepts of this book and I quote (some of my favorite bits that I highlighted as I read it), starting with the most profound one –

The Obstacle Is The Way

Impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

…individuals, like great companies, find a way to transform weakness into strength. It’s a rather amazing and even touching feat. They took what should have held them back—what in fact might be holding you back right this very second—and used it to move forward.

As it turns out, this is one thing all great men and women of history have in common. Like oxygen to a fire, obstacles became fuel for the blaze that was their ambition. Nothing could stop them, they were (and continue to be) impossible to discourage or contain. Every impediment only served to make the inferno within them burn with greater ferocity.

Turn it around. Find some benefit. Use it as fuel. It’s simple. Simple but, of course, not easy.

This book shares with you their collective wisdom in order to help you accomplish the very specific and increasingly urgent goal we all share: overcoming obstacles. Mental obstacles. Physical obstacles. Emotional obstacles. Perceived obstacles.

We face them every day and our society is collectively paralyzed by this. If all this book does is make facing and dismantling such stumbling blocks a little easier, it will be enough. But my aim is higher. I want to show you the way to turn every obstacle into an advantage.

…this will be a book of ruthless pragmatism and stories from history that illustrate the arts of relentless persistence and indefatigable ingenuity. It teaches you how to get unstuck, unf**ked, and unleashed.

To steal good fortune from misfortune.

It’s not just: How can I think this is not so bad? No, it is how to will yourself to see that this must be good—an opportunity to gain a new foothold, move forward, or go in a better direction. Not “be positive” but learn to be ceaselessly creative and opportunistic.

All great victories, be they in politics, business, art, or seduction, involved resolving vexing problems with a potent cocktail of creativity, focus, and daring. When you have a goal, obstacles are actually teaching you how to get where you want to go—carving you a path.

Our generation needs an approach for overcoming obstacles and thriving amid chaos more than ever. One that will help turn our problems on their heads, using them as canvases on which to paint master works.


Enough said. Hopefully, just enough to get you to pick up the book.  Understand that these are merely a few nuggets and that too from just the early chapters. The rest is there, just waiting to be discovered by you…

I encourage you to read it.  The Obstacle Is The Way – I can see the skeptic in you saying, how is this possible?

I’m telling you, it completely altered the way I think about and approach problems and challenges! I devoured what it had to say and I’ve been putting these thoughts/ideas/beliefs to work ever since. Effectively. Meanwhile, the book is still there, waiting on my kindle to be re-read – if ever I face that daunting challenge willing me into submission and defeat where I forget the simple (not easy) teachings that I lapped up the first time I read it.


You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”


― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


Posted on September 1, 2014, in books, life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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