News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Study Up For 'Think': From Obstacles To Opportunities

ezio_armando / Flickr
Great leaders in history have employed Marcus Aurelius' words of wisdom, including Dwight D. Eisenhower in executing D-Day and Ulysses S. Grant in strategizing the Battle of Vicksburg.

There may be old truth to the cliche saying, “That what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” The classical ideology of Stoicism associates that idea to all sorts of challenges we face. Ryan Holiday joins Krys Boyd on “Think” today at 1 p.m. to discuss the power of this philosophy and his new book The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph.

One of the many rulers of the Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius, wrote in his personal writings Meditations, “What stands in the way becomes the way.” His words act as the basis for Holiday’s book and in the TED talk below, Holiday connects the words to a number of applications in history.

Holiday suggests on his blog that Stoicism is practical because we focus on ourselves and what we can control, rather than worrying about external factors. He even argues the value of negative thinking, in which anticipation of the worst can help us prepare for obstacles to come.

Even now, Holiday suggests millennials can administer this way of thinking to their current situation by controlling perceptions, directing actions, and strengthening one’s will. In another article, Holiday addresses a popular problem: procrastination. He gives ways to channel that resistance into productivity, by focusing the negative energy to alternative activities.

Listen to “Think” on Monday through Thursday, from noon to 2 p.m., on KERA 90.1 FM or online.