Daily Touch of Inspirations

September 16th: Anyone can get lucky, not everyone can persevere

Ryan Holiday, The 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

Success comes to the lowly and to the poorly talented, but the special characteristic of a great person is to triumph over the disaster and panics of human life. — Seneca, On Providence, 4.1


Perhaps you know people who've been extraordinarily lucky in life. Maybe they hit the genetic lottery or have skated through classes and careers with ease. Despite never planning, making reckless decisions, jumping from one thing to the next, they've somehow survived without a scratch. There's saying: "God favors fools."

It's natural to be a bit envious of these folks. We want the easy life too — or so we think. But is the easy life really that admirable?

Anyone can get lucky. There's no skill in being oblivious, and no one would consider that greatness.

On the other hand, the person who perseveres through difficulties, who keeps going when others quit, who makes it to their destination through hard work and honesty? That's admirable, because their survival was the result of fortitude and resilience, not birthright or circumstance. A person who overcame not just the external obstacles to success but mastered themselves and their emotions along the way? That's much more impressive. The person who has been dealt a harder hand, understood it, but still triumped? That's greatness.

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom Perseverance and Art of Living

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