In the Ryan Holiday’s bestselling book “The Obstacle is the Way“, he talks about not allowing issues to control you, and how you can fully take control of how you respond to any problem.

Let’s take a look at some of this remarkable book’s important points that we can apply in our careers:

Perception of Negative vs Positive Situations

How you see things is important because this can determine if you’re going to succeed in your occupation. Try to recall the first time when you started looking for a job- even if you’re already an experienced worker, will not be able to say that it was easy because at that time, you still lacked the necessary skills and experience for the job.

At first, it was really hard to admit that you weren’t offered the role because you lacked the skills and experience to do it. But because you adjusted and learned from your previous job hunting experiences- eventually you were able to grow as an individual by embracing the fact that you need to improve on some of your skills.

Your perception will determine if you are going to succeed or not in the world of work. If you failed to see things positively at that time, most likely you’re still jobless up until now. We often perceive that things may go wrong which can ultimately entrap us in the negative situation. Start to looking at things more positively, do the right things to get your desired outcome and most likely, you will experience the positive outcome.

Act Accordingly

When you encounter obstacles in attaining your goal, do not allow yourself to be entrapped. Do something positive about the situation. Unfavorable circumstances can initially stun you but it should never stop you from taking action. For example, if the interviewer said that you lacked a certain skill in programming, you can still share what your other relevant skills are and guarantee that you can acquire that skill as well in a short amount of time.

You should not succumb the situation and delimit yourself. Find a way to accomplish your goal and this will only make you a more resilient individual.

The Will to Move Forward

Some things are beyond our control. But we can still manage how we react situations as long as we are fully aware of it. For example- The company that you are working for now suddenly needs to retrench their employees and you’re one of the few unluck ones who will be laid off. In this case, you are caught in a situation beyond your control but you can still do something positive if you choose to.

What you can do instead of complaining or crying about it, is to start applying for a new job or upgrade your skills to be eligible to work for a different company. When you already have a new skill set, it will be easier for you to find another job because you’ve already increased your value as an employee.


Your perception about issues and situations will determine whether you succeed or survive in any workplace. Always choose to see the positive, work towards a solution and move forward so you won’t get stuck in life’s obstacles.

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