While I was on vacation, something popped up back at home that took my attention for a few days. To be honest, I was a bit frustrated. I had wanted to fully disconnect while I was away. Upon returning home, I reflected on my frustration with a mentor, and he immediately referenced this book. I listen to a chapter each day and love it. What if the obstacles we face really is the way forward?
The Obstacle is the Way has become a cult classic, beloved by men and women around the world who apply its wisdom to become more successful at whatever they do.
Its many fans include a former governor and movie star (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a hip hop icon (LL Cool J), an Irish tennis pro (James McGee), an NBC sportscaster (Michele Tafoya), and the coaches and players of winning teams like the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Cubs, and University of Texas men’s basketball team.
The book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
Ryan Holiday shows us how some of the most successful people in history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. Their embrace of these principles ultimately mattered more than their natural intelligence, talents, or luck.
If you’re feeling frustrated, demoralized, or stuck in a rut, this book can help you turn your problems into your biggest advantages. And along the way, it will inspire you with dozens of true stories of the greats from every age and era.
If you’re like me, you typically try to UNSUBSCRIBE for email newsletters, not SUBSCRIBE to them. This one is different. Carey Nieuwhof sends the weekly “On the Rise” email, and you want to read it. It contains some of the best thinking on the web that you won’t access on any of Carey’s other platforms. Go ahead and give it a try!
A Quote I’m Thinking About
“Focusing exclusively on what is in our power magnifies and enhances our power.” — The Obstacle is the Way
This week’s Monday Mentions includes two books and a recent Amazon purchase.
What are you reading/watching/learning?
This is a brand new book by my friend Maina Mwaura. This book looks at the life and impact of Howard Hendricks. Many great leaders have been influenced greatly by Dr. Hendricks. I just grabbed a copy of the book today and can’t wait to jump in!
Over the span of four years, journalist Maina Mwaura noticed an intriguing pattern while interviewing hundreds of prominent leaders: many of them were deeply shaped by longtime Dallas Theological Seminary professor Howard Hendricks. The Influential Mentor tells the story of Hendricks’ life while capturing his visionary character and leadership legacy. Hendricks, like all of us, struggled. He overcame a difficult childhood and battled depression. Parenting was a challenge. Yet he got up every week for sixty years to teach and mentor with incredible zeal and humility. This book combines the reality of struggle with the audacity of faith to empower others to lead in a manner worthy of Jesus Christ and His gospel.
But at its heart, this is a book about more than Howard Hendricks. It’s about well-tested methods that have shaped a movement—methods that will help today’s leaders weather cultural storms and be more effective. In a time where division seems the norm, renowned “Prof” Hendricks imparts a unifying influence. Mwaura shares interviews with Tony Evans, Robert Jeffress, Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Gene Getz, Andy Stanley, Jennie Allen, and more—each testifying to a life of spiritual, emotional, and physical perseverance.
As Christians apply the lessons of Prof Hendricks’ life, they too will be encouraged and strengthened to be a person of great influence for the cause of Christ! The Influential Mentor highlights the leadership success of a contemporary giant of the faith, while inspiring Christians toward the same faithful endeavor.
I think every leader should consider adopting a coach-like approach to leading. It is certainly not the only way to lead, but it is a powerful tool to have in a leader’s toolbox.
One of the most impactful methods a coach uses is by asking powerful questions. But if we’re not careful, we’ll focus more on creating the perfect question instead of being fully present with the other person. This book, Coach the Person, Not the Problem, is super helpful in moving beyond this to help others experience a shift in perspective.
From a founding member of the coaching movement comes a detailed guide to mastering one of a coach’s toughest skills: thoughtfully reflecting clients’ words and expressions back to them so they see themselves and their world through new eyes.
“Coaches rely far too much on asking open-ended questions,” says Marcia Reynolds. But questions only seek answers — inquiry provides insight. When, instead of just questions, clients hear their thoughts, opinions, and beliefs spoken by someone else, it prompts them to critically consider how their thinking affects their goals. Reynolds cites the latest brain science to show why reflective inquiry works and provides techniques, tips, and structures for creating breakthrough conversations.
This book will free coaches from the cult of asking the magical question by offering five essential practices of reflective inquiry: Focus on the person, not the problem; summarize what is heard and expressed; identify underlying beliefs and assumptions; unwrap the desired outcome; and articulate insights and commitments. Using these practices, combined with a respectful and caring presence, helps create a space where clients feel safe, seen, and valued for who they are. Coaches become change agents who actively recharge the human spirit. And clients naturally dive deeper and develop personalized solutions that may surprise even the coach.
I don’t know anyone who likes a shower with low water pressure. While this may seem like a strange pick, hopefully, we all shower! And if you’d like more water pressure, I encourage you to check this showerhead out. It’s not expensive and made a huge difference for our shower.
This week’s Monday Mentions contains a recent message I gave that seemed to strike a chord with people and a Bible re-binder whose work is incredible.
What are you reading/watching/learning?
In Exodus, God initiates a rescue mission for His people. He calls Moses to initiate it. But Moses experienced a ton of doubt. We do too. This message examines the top five excuses we give when God wants to use us.
If you find this message encouraging, would you consider sharing it to you social media by sharing this link?
Jeremiah, of Frost Leather, is an incredible Bible rebinder. If you’re unfamiliar with rebinders, they can beautifully restore Bibles that are falling apart. There are also able to replace leather covers – giving them a new look and feel.
There are a few rebinders that I’ve used over the years. Frost Leather is one of my favorites. Frost Leather has transformed several of my Bibles, making them heirloom quality. These Bibles look timeless and will surely stand the test of time.
This week’s Monday Mentions includes a brand new book and a teaching that I think will encourage you.
What are you learning these days?
I’ve learned so much from John Maxwell over the years. I’ve read a ton of his books, attended several live events, and even serve as one of his team’s coaches. I believe John is one of the best communicators on the planet. He knows how to read a room. He is super encouraging. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, and he is super effective.
In The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication, John distills what he’s learned and practiced into practical chapters. Chapter 1, The Law of Credibility, is worth the price of the book. John reminds us that the most effective message is one that we actually live.
No matter what setting you communicate in, I believe this book will be helpful. The more effective your communication skills, the more effective you’ll be in your efforts. Enjoy!
Never Be Afraid to Speak to a Group Again
It’s been said that public speaking is the number one fear of most people, with death being second. “This means,” said comedian Jerry Seinfeld, “if you have to be at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
How can you overcome fear or ineffectiveness as a speaker? Learn the Laws of Communication!
John C. Maxwell has been a public speaker and motivational teacher for more than fifty years. He is one of only eight people on the planet who have been awarded Toastmaster’s Golden Gavel and been inducted into the National Speakers’ Association Hall of Fame. In The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication: Apply Them and Make the Most of Your Message, he shares everything he’s learned from a lifetime of communication.
Learn how to
- Speak from conviction
- Prepare your content and yourself for speaking
- Find and use your personal and communication strengths
- Focus on your audience and connect
- Tell better stories
- Read the room and create energy and anticipation
- Add value to people
- Inspire people to take action
Everyone has a message to share. Whether you want to improve your ability to inspire employees, speak at PTA meetings, report to a board of directors, teach students, deliver a sermon, address a small group, speak from a stage, or communicate to an arena full of people, this book can help you.
Learn from one of the best communicators in the world and start making the most of your message today.
The Passover Meal is a traditional meal that Jewish families have observed annually since the time of the Exodus. It is a very orderly, detailed meal that has a lot to teach us today.
I’d encourage you to carve out some time to watch Anna Beth Havener teach through how this meal points to Jesus. I believe you will be encouraged. Anna Beth is an incredible teacher who serves with Light of the Messiah Ministries.
This week’s Monday Mentions includes two excellent books.
What are you reading?
I had the pleasure of meeting Ines Franklin via Zoom last year. So naturally, I was excited to see her first book come out. This great book has been a long time in the making. I’d encourage you to check it out.
DISCOVER THE UNCHARTED PATH FULL OF MYSTERY & FULL OF FAITH
Every faith journey is unique―a beautiful and at times frightening mystery―fully known only to our Creator. Unfortunately, this journey can also be confusing. The struggles of life, the inability to hear God, and our desire for control can all complicate the abundant life and leave us unsure where we’re supposed to be heading. And when life runs into us headfirst, or the fog of uncertainty envelops us, we may find ourselves stumbling into―or even falling off the edge of―disorientation.
Pastor Inés Franklin offers her own courageous journey of faith and biblical insights―providing healing and hope for those still finding their way or doubting their path. Her careful analysis and scholarly approach to the Bible will encourage readers to discover the truth that at the very foundation of the Christian faith lies an invitation to active surrender––to offer and release all our circumstances to our perfectly loving God, giving him complete authority over our lives. Active surrender leads to a thriving faith that gives us the courage to take risks and be open to the unknown as we pursue our God-given purpose.
In the foreword, Dr. John Townsend says, “A book that is worth your time investment requires an answer to the question, How do I move forward with these truths? What are the steps? We need a path to guide us in transforming our everyday lives. Inés provides us with a framework of best practices for the faith journey.
In Uncharted, you will find a practical rhythm to grow in your faith, transforming your fears into trust and your hesitation into commitment.
- Knowing God’s Desires
- Overcoming Challenges
- Blessing through Obedience
- Thriving by Thirsting for God
In a world full of obstacles, comparison, and uncertainty, the most rewarding journey you will ever undertake is the uncharted walk with God.
I love learning about health. Mark Hyman is a functional medicine doctor … meaning he thinks of the body as one system instead several distinct parts. The benefit of this thinking is that you are often able to treat the underlying problems, whereas other approaches tend to mask symptoms. Your biological age does not have to match your chronological age. If you are looking for ways to improve your health, this book might be for you!
Bestselling author Dr. Mark Hyman presents the definitive guide for reversing disease, easing pain, and living younger longer.
Aging has long been considered a normal process. We think disease, frailty, and gradual decline are inevitable parts of life. But they’re not. Science today sees aging as a treatable disease. By addressing its root causes we can not only increase our health span and live longer but prevent and reverse the diseases of aging—including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia.
In Young Forever, Dr. Mark Hyman challenges us to reimagine our biology, health, and the process of aging. To uncover the secrets to longevity, he explores the biological hallmarks of aging, their causes, and their consequences—then shows us how to overcome them with simple dietary, lifestyle, and emerging longevity strategies. You’ll learn how to optimize your body’s key longevity switches; reduce inflammation and support the health of your immune system; exercise, sleep, and de-stress for healthy aging; and eat your way to a long life, featuring Dr. Hyman’s Pegan Diet. You’ll also get exclusive insight from Dr. Mark Hyman on which supplements are right for you, where the research on aging is headed, and so much more.
With dozens of science-based strategies and tips, Young Forever is a revolutionary, practical guide to creating and sustaining health—for life.