Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is the Way, believes we should live by the ancient stoic philosophy principles more than ever before. He says most people think stoic principles are reserved for a few elite, but in reality, they are for everyone. Stoicism provides a technique to control your thoughts and actions when everything falls apart and you need calm amidst the chaos.
When I first read The Obstacle Is the Way, I thought I could do stoicism just by reading about it. Epictetus, an ancient stoic said,
“Philosophy does not promise to secure anything external for man, otherwise it would be admitting something that lies beyond its proper subject matter. For as the material of the carpenter is wood, and that of statuary bronze, so the subject-matter of the art of living is each person’s own life.”
The Stoics thought the best indication of a person’s philosophy is not what a person says, or reads about, but how a person behaves. Well, that’s often easy to say but harder to do in practice when faced with tragedy and hardship.
But that’s the point of developing ourselves, not to wait until tragedy or opportunity arises but to prepare our minds to be ready for it when it inevitably does.
Ryan Holiday believes people who haven’t experienced horrible suffering can still embrace the core principles of Stoicism — self-control, fortitude, and restraint — because it’s within their reach to control their mind with meditation or exercise. He believes we don’t need a roadmap to follow, but it’s important to practice these principles until they become second nature.
In order to follow the path of stoicism, we created a daily practice that will help me deal with life’s ups and downs. Applying the principles of stoicism when you’re facing problems is only a matter of implementing them in your life. If you want to join Ryan and hiitide live for 28 days to experience what it’s like to apply these principles in your life, check out The Obstacle is the Way Book Club
About the Authors: Evan Shy
As a published author, scientist, and the founder and CEO of hiitide, Evan has earned experience building teams and technology that help people live positively, better. Growing up in a family of professional athletes and entrepreneurs, Evan started his first business before leaving high school and would go on to found a number of wellness businesses while conducting physiology research and teaching at the University of Illinois at Champaign. His research has been published across scientific journals, college textbooks, and our own titles. Today, hiitide distills hundreds of hours from books and content into bite-sized action prompts, journaling exercises, and community discussions delivered in a virtual book club format so readers can make meaningful, lasting changes to their lives, careers, and relationships… by investing 1% of their day.