February 4

“Take care when when you observe a man honored before others or possessed of great power or highly esteemed for any reason, not to suppose him to be happy, and be not carried away by the appearance.” – Epictetus

We see the surface of fame, prestige and power. We see the bright lights, the cameras, the events, and the talk shows. We don’t see the sacrifice, the hours of loneliness or the time spent living a life where none of it belongs to the individual living it. Where relationships and friendships are groomed by handlers and schedules are made by others. We don’t see the pressure of having actual enemies who plot our destruction or the stress of needing to be “on” every minute of every day.

Success at any level comes at a cost. With success often comes responsibility for the livelihood and well being of others, others who often times are also subordinate to the the responsible party. Human nature often causes this relationship to be antagonistic. So even at the lowest of levels, success in business will often come at a cost. Success at most levels is also going to involve you worrying about a number of things you have no control over.

Instead, happiness and freedom come from sticking to the things that fall within our control. So let’s stick to the things we can control, let’s enjoy our happiness and freedom and leave the “success” to others.

virtus fortis vocat

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