Every now and again – well every other book to be honest. I read some non-fiction book about strategy or philosophy or losing weight (yep I obsess over the scales). A good friend of mine recommended The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. Now, as I have said before and will say again, I do not review books here. I just want to share with you what I am reading. So on we go.
This book basically outlines strategies and philosophies for getting the best out of a bad situation. Its teachings are modern takes on stoicism and if I was to cut a long story short it outlines mechanisms and methods for turning adversity in to opportunities and learning curves. As we all know, when we learn we improve. Throughout the book there is an overarching philosophy about how we should treat each other as human beings and how we should tackle the events that consume us and otherwise distract us from the real priorities in our own lives.
It is a great book. I liked it very much and will no doubt read it again. Along with the ideas and mechanisms that I picked up, something else occurred to me. Philosophy is for the people. All of us. It is not some mystical bullshit that is ethereal and beyond our grasp. *Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.*
So, philosophy is the study of the above? Or is it a thought process that is followed by action designed to solve human problems? I am going to go with this. Because that point is very well made in Ryan Holiday’s book and it makes more sense.
You see, philosophy and politics are professions and subjects that do appear to have been hi-jacked by scholars and the ruling classes. Each has been sterilised and turned into boring subjects by various aspects of the media. I believe that this is bi-product of capitalism. Hear me out. If we were all philosophers (which I believe that we are, as everyone of us at some point has thought through a problem and action’d the results to solve said problem), if everyone realised that they had the keys to this toolbox; then we wouldn’t need a lot of things that are marketed to us. The same with politics, it has been turned into a subject that bores people. Admittedly devisive referendums and the massive ignorant American hair-do have ignited more interest of late. But on the whole most people would class both of these subjects as boring.
My point (and Ryan Holiday’s), is this, we are all philosophers. We all possess the minerals to figure out life’s problems. We can all work them into a positive situation from which lessons can be learned. And because of that, it is our duty to never stop learning. The Obstacle is the Way, is a book that I enjoyed very much. It is one those rare books that can change the way you look at life and yourself.
If you have enjoyed this particular canister of mind gas, please consider sharing it. Karma and my badself will thank you for it. The buttons are on the right, thank you kindly.