Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Obstacle is the Way

There is a very cool book by Ryan Holiday: The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

I often give this book as a gift. It is my “go to” for anyone that works for me, with me, or anyone that I hope to work with. They say that you are who you spend the most time with. Well, I want to spend time with people who love this book. 

This book is a good read for getting over yourself, complaining, and doing something about your problems. I feel that this book was very practical, applicable (especially in today's society), and concise about stories of turning adversity into an advantage of examples from bad asses throughout history. Ryan does a great job of keeping the biographical examples brief and concise, then straight to the point of the lesson in each chapter. Ryan achieved what a lot of other authors who write about similar subjects, but better and more concise. It's an easy read and is a useful reminder for us all when we feel like the chips are down, that we can always flip the tables. It will definitely be a book I will always turn back to.

I recently witnessed “The Obstacle is the Way” in practice.  On March 10th - 12th the was invited to observe as 9 regions, 5 continents, 1000 hackers & The UN SDG Action Campaign connect, create and collaborate during a 48-hour global hackathon around 3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Why now? For the first time in our history, we are at a point where we have the tools, ideas and technology to solve the world’s problems and have a real impact on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Why us? It has become commonplace thinking that government cannot and should not be expected to solve all our problems. Today it is up to us to work together to build the future we need. We must help the the UN achieve its goals.

Why get involved? The most successful businesses come from pain points. We want to create and build successful yet sustainable and responsible businesses that tackle real problems for genuine impact. All successful ideas will be put on a crowdfunding platform to facilitate their growth. There are a few quotes that I love. One quote is that “Mistakes are Tuition” in that we learn from our mistakes. We “paid” for that mistake - so why not get the full value of our investment? I expect my staff and colleagues to make LOTS of mistakes every day. If we are not making mistakes, are we not learning, and if we are not learning, we are not growing.
But the better lesson is that indeed: the Obstacle is the Way. Problems are the Purpose. To attack a problem is to live a full and passionate life. To take on the big hairy audacious goals to save the planet, to take on the problems that will lead to serving others, to make a difference in the world - what a gift. It is our problems that gives us our life purpose.

I spent 72 hours at Microsoft at 11 Times Square - watching the best and the brightest minds “attack” the world's problems. And living their passion in the process.

Now what? We can do this. We got this. There is NOTHING that we cannot accomplish if we all work together. The Obstacle is indeed The Way.

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