“The essence of good is a certain kind of reasoned choice; just as the essence of evil is another kind. What about externals, then? They are only the raw material for our reasoned choice, which finds its own good or evil in working with them. How will it find the good? Not by marveling at the material! For if judgments about the material are straight that makes our choices good, but if those judgments are twisted, our choices turn bad.”
-Epictetus, Discourses, 1.29.1-3
Steadiness and consistency are pivotal to success in any realm. I’ve heard it said by many people in many different fields that the key to success is being persistent and consistent. If that’s the case how would you obtain those traits if you were not born with them? Or, if you were not raised in an environment in which you would have naturally gotten those traits ingrained into your psyche, how would one obtain them? Those traits will help your life whether you are at a high level of success however you may define that, or if you are aiming at a happier day. When you persist on after your mind tells you to quit, you build up confidence and strength within yourself. We have all been there, whether typing a paper or lifting a weight, you have that thought to quit but that quiet voice in the back of your head tells you just one more word, just one more rep. If you apply that thought pattern to aspects of your life not only will you improve daily activity but the way you look at yourself will being to change. You will begin to see yourself as a fighter, as a champion that doesn’t give in when his weak mind tells him too. You will begin to see yourself as the thinker and not the thought; the creator, not the bystander. Upon reaching that state of mind, you are now fertile for success and happiness. When you are adding value to your life everything may not fall into a straight line right away like it may seem for some people. You may first need to develop a different mindset than the one you currently have in order to absorb or even understand something that may have gone right over your head in a docile state of mind. You must first open the doors of your mind if you wish to have anything helpful enter.