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What stands in the way, becomes the way.

A book that has been on my ‘To read’ list for a long time is ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday. After listening to one of his other books ‘The Ego is the Enemy’ a month or so ago, it shot towards the top of my list. 

After coming across the below Marcus Aurelius Quote, and having somewhat of a rough week, I decided that now was the best time to dive into the audiobook. (At time of writing I’m about 28 minutes in)

” Our actions may be impeded… But there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacles to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way”// Marcus Aurelius
This idea/thought process hits me square in the chest. Sitting here reading it over and again forces an intense level of reflection and acceptance that what is, is. In 48 words (yes I counted) which are almost 2000 years old, this philosophising emperor has put into words something that we must all comprehend and adopt. 

We all struggle. We all suffer. We all are faced with obstacles. We are not alone in our suffering & we must be able to understand that. Many people are worse off but this suffering is relative. 

To learn to work through our these frustrations and the obstacles these bring. Is to transcend the need to react to ‘bad’ situations, and instead look at them as opportunities to grow, and learn. Avoidance and running away won’t solve anything. I’m sure you can all agree with me on that. 

What stands in the way becomes the way”

Perception and Perspective are two words in which through these struggles we can find solace and some aspect of comfort. 

Understanding perception is a simple reminder of the subjectivity of being human. We are a result of our subjective experiences, and failure to recognise this creates a ‘reality’ in which the world around us and the events which take place can only be perceived in a single way. As we all (should) be acutely aware of, we all perceive our realities differently, from the food we eat to the movies we watch to the arguments we think we have. 

Perspective is just as if not more important. Understanding where we place as humans on the ‘cosmic calendar’ Realising our insignificance on universal proportions, whilst raising awareness of our place in the world. We can come to understand how a bad day in the scheme of things is an insignificant period of time across a month or year, let alone an entire lifetime. 

At the end of the day, things happen because of us and for us, they don’t happen too us, this is something I believe with all that I am. How we respond to these challenges determines the kind of person we want to be, and will become. 

​​”What stands in the way becomes the way”

Take on the challenges, learn from them, fail and fuck up (often), I won’t be far behind you. 

As always, if you’d like to connect, you know where to find me. ​​​​​


Below – Cracking some gags (probably) at our engagement party last month. Couldn’t wish for a better human to spend the rest of my life with. 

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