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Book Review: "The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph", by Ryan Holiday

I'm starting to dig myself out of the habit of watching too much Netflix (though I still watch too much Netflix), and start getting back into the habit of reading books. The latest book I've read is a very gentle introduction or re-introduction to Stoicism by Ryan Holiday.

I think maybe a few years ago I would have been all fired up from reading books like these. Nowadays, I'm far more skeptical. It's a very libertarian mindset to foist onto a mindset to remain so detached from the rest of the world and primarily try to improve oneself. I get the appeal of it. I got the appeal of it once before. But I think I might be falling off the bandwagon here.

It's kind of like the whole delayed gratification story, where you hand a marshmallow to a kid, have them wait ten minutes to get another marshmallow. But it's not that simple. Nobody tells the story of the kid who waited nine minutes, then had the marshmallow taken from them ten seconds from the end and then slapped in the face.

I think Stoicism and its presentation here makes it uncool to be average. I think being average is fine. Maybe “The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck” is a better way to present Stoicism; it seems more inclusive, and gets you to the same end goal but with less pretentiousness.