The Obstacle Is The Way

When I think about this idea, the obstacle is the way, I tend to think about an obstacle course. One that offers you a myriad of obstacles to overcome to win. They are also physical. You have to jump over a fence, or maybe climb a wall in order for you to get to the other side. You get the idea. 

Philosophically speaking, this idea is pure gold. No wonder Ryan Holiday chose it to title his book. 

The obstacle is the way.

This morning I woke up, after having slept for 7 hours and 10 minutes according to my watch, without feeling rested. I don’t like feeling tired. I also don’t like eating junk food because of how it will make me feel later on. I hate feeling unprepared for life, and every time I indulge, be that on alcohol, junk food, or else, I feel unprepared, inside. 

Today I realized something. The obstacle is not only outside, but inside as well. In fact, almost all the obstacles that you and I and everybody else need to overcome, are inside. 

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Marcus Aurelius

Your insecurities, your tiredness, your whatever, indicate the obstacle that needs to be overcome inside. It is literally showing you the way. Like, if you’re afraid, the fear is showing you the way for courageous action. If you’re insecure about something, that insecurity is showing you what you need to work on within yourself. The impediment to action advances action. 

Isn’t this bloody liberating? 

Just a tiny twist in your perception about the things that you think are dragging you back, make you realize that not only they are not dragging you back, but that they are showing you the way. 

Armed with this knowledge and then: 

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will. ”
Epictetus

What are you going to do to overcome? 

Thanks for reading, 

Ricardo Guaderrama 

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