A person of authority, power, fame and public standing is robbed of choices. He cannot explore, drift or reinvent himself. His dependence on others and responsibilities stop him from learning and growing, and his life is robbed of any self-discovery.
The powerful man is focused on survival and is a distrusting, fearful man, existing in a golden cage.
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Being a CEO, or a celebrity is a sought-after state, something that is assumed to be empowering. The reality of power is quite different and shocking.
Most people dream of wealth, power, riches and fame, falsely believing that we control our destiny and fate, and if we just become richer or more famous, we will live the life we want to live, with complete freedom and autonomy.
Real autonomy is the freedom to do what you want to do from the movement you get up in the morning until the time you go to bed. It is the freedom to think, to invest, to have an opinion, to spend time on an activity that we want to, and being able to redefine what success means, in our own terms.
An individual who is free to be, and is not tied to rules, obligations, people, followers, free from constraints, is truly rich and successful.
A patron once offered Epicurus whatever he wanted. Epicurus could have requested riches but asked for a small pot of cheese. Epicurus knew that simple pleasures, enjoyed in moderation, were most enjoyable.
A pleasant life is as inseparable from moderation as it is from other virtues such as prudence, honour, and justice.
A few things to keep in mind when starting work in a new field:
81. Don’t just read books, re-read books.
82. Make haste, slowly.
83. Don’t talk about projects until you’re finished.
84. Go into the wilderness.
85. Try to see opportunities where others see obstacles.
86. Inner scorecard vs. outer scorecard.
87. Have unrelated hobbies.
88. You don’t solve problems by running away. Travel will not make you happy.
89. Seek out challenges.
90. “Whenever you are offended, understand that you are complicit in taking offense.” — Epictetus