“What rank can I achieve then in life you ask? Whatever rank you desire so long as you maintain your faithfulness and modesty. But if on your way to success you have to give up these qualities what have you gained if it has left you shameless and faithless?” – Epictetus
The good news is that we don’t have to feel bad about acquiring as much material wealth and social success as we choose to. The bad news is going to be that acquiring any amount of success while compromising on the qualities that we are working on improving is not going to increase our level of happiness. Far from it.
We all have to make a living in this life, we all have to navigate in social circles and we will all meet varying degrees of success. The fact that you are reading this on the internet puts you in the top half of the planet for material success. If you are reading this on a smart phone half that again. We are all already pretty successful by many measurements. And we are working towards regaining and preserving our humility.
We should aim to go through life with the intention of putting our absolute bet effort into everything that we have control over. We should focus on the things that fall within our sphere of control and then do our absolute best to maximize our effort on those things while choosing to ignore the things that do not fall within our control.
This will be something we will work on for the rest of our lives. But it will be worth it.
virtus fortis vocat