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Book Freak #66: Overcoming Obstacles


Book Freak

September 24 · Issue #66 · View online

Short pieces of advice from books

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Ryan Holiday is one of the world’s foremost thinkers and writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life. His books have been translated into over 30 languages and read by over two million people worldwide. Here are four pieces of advice from his book, The Obstacle is the Way.
Don’t waste time on false constructs
“For all species other than us humans, things just are what they are. Our problem is that we’re always trying to figure out what things mean—why things are the way they are. As though the why matters. Emerson put it best: ‘We cannot spend the day in explanation.'”
You are the only variable you can control
“The only guarantee, ever, is that things will go wrong. The only thing we can use to mitigate this is anticipation. Because the only variable we control completely is ourselves.”
Where to build
“You know what’s better than building things up in your imagination? Building things up in real life.”
The things which hurt instruct
“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. ‘The things which hurt,’ Benjamin Franklin wrote, ‘instruct.'”
Read The Magnet, my weekly newsletter of tips, recommendations of things that interest me, things I've learned, recipes, quotations, and more.
Read The Magnet, my weekly newsletter of tips, recommendations of things that interest me, things I've learned, recipes, quotations, and more.
Book Freak is published by Cool Tools Lab, a small company of three people. We run the Cool Tools website, a podcast, a video review YouTube channel, and a few other newsletters, including Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales, What’s in my bag? and Recomendo. You can support our work by becoming a patron via Patreon.
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