“The Obstacle Is The Way” Limited Edition Print

I am a big proponent of turning good advice and wisdom into a tangible physical object. So you cannot run away from it, so you see it enough times that it becomes imprinted in your mind. The form doesn’t matter—it can be a coin that reminds you of your mortality that you carry with you, it can be a quote taped on your screen, it can be a bust on your desk, or it can be a print above your working space.

In this way, “The Obstacle Is the Way” limited edition print I’m producing is a reminder of the timeless wisdom that you can turn every obstacle into an opportunity, every trial into a triumph. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

What does this phrase mean? Well, in Marcus’s words is the secret to an art known as turning obstacles upside down. To act with “a reverse clause,” so there is always a way out or another route to get to where you need to go. So that setbacks or problems are always expected and never permanent. Making certain that what impedes us can empower us. To see each obstacle as an opportunity to practice some virtue: patience, courage, humility, resourcefulness, justice, and creativity.

The visual interpretation is loosely inspired by the stories in my book The Obstacle Is The Way about Grant’s siege at Vicksburg and Eisenhower’s turnaround at Normandy. It’s the timeless idea of how military obstacles can be turned into advantages—and how advantages can so quickly be turned against someone.

In other words, the obstacle becomes the way. And conversely, the fortress becomes a prison. It’s something I try to think about constantly and this print is a daily reminder in bright color.

It’s very easy to say something in words in a book (or in a blog post), but communicating it visually is another story. I think that’s what makes this print so unique.

I hope you like this poster and I hope it helps with your obstacles in your life. It is available to purchase now at the Daily Stoic store for $40 and we ship anywhere in the world.


P.S. You might also like The Obstacle Is The Way medallion which is available at DailyStoic.com