Book Club #2 — The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

Discussion questions, provided by my lovely wife:

  • Do you agree with Ryan Holiday that you have to face and overcome challenges in order to develop the skills to be better at rallying and thriving when you encounter future obstacles? (Preface – xvi)
  • On pages 2 – 3, Holiday states that the individuals who have “a method and a framework for understanding, appreciating…and acting upon the obstacles life throws” at them are the ones who seem the most unparalyzed. Is this something innate? Can you learn this as an adult after you’re already set in your ways?
  • What do you believe Holiday means when he says “false goals?” (pg. 7)
  • On page 18, Holiday lists the things we must try when faced with an obstacle. Which one of these do you consider to be the most vital? Which one can be utilized day-to-day (in other words, when you’re NOT facing an obstacle)?
  • Holiday states that “perceptions are the problem,” emphasizing that objectivity allows us to see events “clear of distractions, exaggerations, and misperceptions.” Do you agree? Are there instances when perception can be as beneficial as objectivity? (pg. 32 – 33)
  • On pages 40 – 48, Holiday highlights the idea of living in the present: “Focus on what is in front of you, right now. Ignore what is ‘represents’ or it ‘means’ or ‘why it happened to you’” (pg. 48). Discuss this idea and how it relates to your business.
  • When discussing the idea of action, Holiday uses examples of people who face extreme adversity, such as physical disabilities and racial discrimination, to support his claim that one must take immediate action, without lingering on perceptions of any given obstacle, in order to “accomplish what we claim are our goals” (pg. 70). Holiday specifically states that following regarding those individuals:
    • “They made the best of it. Because they had to, because they didn’t have a choice.” (pg. 69)
    • Can you relate to extreme adversity and use it as a driving force for taking action? What does this mean for those who don’t face extreme diversity and can’t use it as a driving force?
  • On page 85, Holiday describes the type of person who doesn’t learn from failures as “thickheaded and resistant to change.” He goes on to explain that each failure provides “precise instructions on how to improve” (pg. 86). What are strategies a person who is resistant to change can practice in order to move away from that mentality?
  • In the chapter titled “Follow the Process,” Holiday emphasizes the importance of working through the process by focusing on surviving the current step: “existing in the present, taking it one step at a time, not getting distracted by anything else” (pg. 88). Discuss your thoughts on this method of overcoming an obstacle, especially when the next step of the process is unclear.
  • In the chapter titled “Do Your Job, Do It Right,” Holiday uses Steve Jobs as an example of dedication to a craft. He encourages us to “think like a craftsman” (pg. 96) in every part of our business, especially the work no one sees and is considered an obligation. What are some areas of Internet Marketing that one might cut corners on, but are important to treat with pride and dedication?
  • Discuss the importance of this concept to your Internet Marketing business:
    • “We spend a lot of time thinking about how things are supposed to be, or what the rules say we should do. Trying to get it all perfect…When, really, it’d be better to focus on making due with what we’ve got. On focusing on results instead of pretty methods.” (pg. 99)

Book Club #1 — The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

A few things to note about this book club meeting:

  • “The Untethered Soul” turned out to be a bit too “woo woo” for me personally — I’ll be more careful of this with future books.
  • With that said, I think there’s still a lot of value any entrepreneur can take away from this book.
  • And although turnout was super low for this first call (just me, Michelle, and my lovely wife, Regina), I think the conversation here is still very much worth watching.