“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” - Marcus Aurelius
The inspiration for the international bestseller The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday, that line, plucked from the pages of Marcus Aurelius’s private Meditations nearly 2000 years ago, is a timeless, life-changing lesson.
Now, with our newest medallion, you can carry this powerful truth with you wherever you go.
The world is constantly testing us. We set out to do something and it’s more trying than we expect. We face resistance. We get criticized. We run out of options. We experience technical difficulties. What will we do?
Marcus would say that the Stoic finds a way to turn every negative into a positive. In this famous line, what he’s suggesting is that—no matter how bad or seemingly undesirable a situation becomes—we always have the opportunity to practice virtue, to use the situation as an opportunity to be our best selves. We don’t control when things get hard, but we always control how we respond. We can show patience, courage, humility, resourcefulness, reason, justice, and creativity. The things that test us make us who we are.
The Stoic grows stronger and better with every obstacle they face. They rally to every challenge and thrive as a result. So can you.
To keep this thought in mind, we’ve created The Obstacle Is The Way medallion to carry with you. The front features a great mountain. The back shows Marcus’s enduring words: “The impediment to action advances action, what stands in the way becomes the way.”
As the Haitian proverb puts it: Behind mountains are more mountains. One does not overcome one obstacle only to enter the land of no obstacles. No matter how successful we are or will be, we’re going to find things that stand in our path.
Our hope is that when you encounter these obstacles you’ll feel the weight of the coin in your pocket and remember that each obstacle offers a chance to thrive not just in spite of whatever is in front of you, but because of it.
Each coin is handcrafted in the United States by a custom mint operating in Minnesota since 1882. The same mint where the iconic AA anniversary medallions were created in 1973 by Bill Westman, an employee. Westman wanted to create something to leave with people he interacted with in recovery groups and to mark their achievements in sobriety. To remind them of the messages of AA and help keep them on their road to recovery. Westman’s advice was “carry this in your pocket or purse and when temptation is great, reach into your pocket and feel the medallion and remember your struggle to get this far.”
Each coin is shipped in a velvet ring box with an accompanying information card, explaining the practice to anyone receiving the coin.
Dimensions: 1 9/16” in diameter, 2.778 MM thick, 26.2 grams.
Shipping Information: We ship worldwide. North American orders are shipped from the U.S. and the rest of the world from the U.K.