There’s a great exchange between Epictetus and a student that encapsulates the true path to lasting, perennial success in any field. “Tell me what to do!” the student says. Epictetus corrects him, “It would be better to say, ‘Make my mind adaptable to any circumstances.’” It is true for your chosen field, just as it is for life. Principles are better than instructions and “hacks.” We can figure out the specifics later—but only if we learn the right way to approach them.
So make sure you ignore the people trying to teach you how to find shortcuts to this destination or that destination. Be wary of those who claim to have an exact prescription on how to do some really hard thing. Learn how to be adaptable and flexible—learn how to learn. That’s a better recipe for lasting success.
[If you’re specifically interested in those larger lessons for the creative or artistic fields, check out Ryan’s new book Perennial Seller, from which today’s email was adapted from.]
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