We have a false picture about how success happens. We often only see the results and almost never the process of things, so we tend to think that the finished product—a book, being in shape, being wise—is impressive, and therefore the process by which that event was created must have been equally brilliant.
In fact, it’s not.
All success happens the same way: “action by action,” as Marcus said. Just after the release of Metallica’s eleventh album, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich explained the simple secret to their high output:
“I wish I could romanticize it, and tell you that we’re sitting down and there’s a destination, but it’s basically just work. You write one song, then you write another song and eventually you’ve got an album.”
This is what the Stoics believe too. That the little things add up to make the big things. This is what Zeno meant when he said, “Well-being is realized by small steps but is truly no small thing.” And what Seneca meant when he wrote, “each day, acquire something that will fortify you against poverty, against death, indeed against other misfortunes, as well and after you have run over many thoughts, select one to be thoroughly digested that day.”
One gain per day. That’s it. It’s not romantic. It’s basically just work.
If you haven’t picked up copies yet, both The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living and The Daily Dad: 366 Meditations on Parenting, Love, and Raising Great Kids were designed with that idea—little things, even at the pace of one per day, add up. One page, one quote, one insight, one idea a day—that’s the path to getting better and wiser and stronger and more resilient.
And if you do have a copy of The Daily Stoic, if you are in year three or four or five with the book, it might be time for you to pick up a copy of our premium leather-bound edition. After hearing from countless readers who crack open their hardcopies every day, we decided to create a version with a level of quality not possible on mass produced books. To learn more about what makes this edition so special, head over to https://dailystoic.com/leather.