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You Make Your Own Good Fortune

Daily Stoic Emails

We can all remember times when it felt like everything was going our way. We were getting the breaks we wanted and opportunities came easy. It was the opposite of Murphy’s Law: What could go right, did. 

Perhaps we remember a time when we were younger, when it felt like more people were willing to help and teach us. But as time passes, this passes with it. Lucky breaks seem less common. We become like the man that Marcus Aurelius mimics by saying, “I was once a fortunate man but at some point fortune abandoned me.” 

This is absolutely the wrong way to look at it. 

Because, as Marcus continues, “true good fortune is what you make for yourself. Good fortune: good character, good intentions and good actions.”

Let us face today with that attitude in mind. Good fortune is not getting lucky. It’s not the ball bouncing your way. It’s not other people doing stuff for you. Because all of those things are out of your control. They are not up to you. 

True good fortune is you doing stuff for other people. It’s you being a good person, regardless of whether you get cut a break for it. It’s you starting each day with a commitment to be your best, whatever happens. 

That IS up to you. Always.

P.S. This was originally sent on December 24, 2018. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism.