#319: How to Succeed in High-Stress Situations
“A good person dyes events with his own color…and turns whatever happens to his own benefit.” - Seneca
From the outside looking in, the last several weeks have been disaster after disaster for me:
- Death in the family
- Several deals that have been worked on for 6+ months fell apart at the last minute
- I might need to sue someone for egregious breach of contract and unexpected damages
- On and on and on...
I've thought of several books over and over again during this period to cope. One of them was The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday (@ryanholiday). It has helped me to turn problems upside-down, look at them through a different lens, and even uncover unique opportunities.
The Obstacle Is The Way is a collection of stories and principles about Stoicism, which I consider to be the ultimate personal "operating system" for anyone who wants to thrive in high-stress environments and situations.
If you want to be antifragile like Thomas Jefferson, Marcus Aurelius, Bill Belichick, and many of the most dominant investors in history, Stoicism offers a real playbook. If you want to make better decisions, if you want to smile when other people cower, it offers real tools.
To quote Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, "Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them." What if you could be a person who is improved by crisis? At the very least, it would give you opportunities no one else can see, let alone grasp. Much more important, it would make you a happier human being.
Here are a few sample chapters from The Obstacle Is The Way. Please enjoy!
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