Exercise General description
Marcus Aurelius' Obstacle Converter Rehearse You're face-to-face with an obstacle. This exercise helps you "convert" that obstacle into "the way." As Marcus Aurelius writes in Book V of his Meditations, "Our actions may be impeded . . . but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." This Marcus Aurelius passage also figures strongly in Ryan Holiday's excellent book, "The Obstacle is the Way." How does this obstacle in fact advance your action? How will this obstacle become kindling to brighten your flame (to use Marcus Aurelius' frequent metaphor of fire)? How will this obstacle standing in your path become your path?
Global Exercise
Quotations from Stoic Philosophers like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus
make no pretence of ‘obstacle in the way.’ … like fire rising, a stone falling, a roller on a slope…