Some two and a half millennia ago, in what is now Southern Italy, there lived a legendary wrestler by the name of Milo of Croton.
A six-time Olimpic Champion, Milo’s career spanned over 24 years, during which he was undoubtedly the best wrestler of his generation. He is said to have been able to carry a bull on his shoulders and to have burst a band about his brow by simply inflating the veins on his temples.
But what can this ancient wrestler teach us about success?
The ego is not the enemy is often portrayed to be.
Defined as a person’s sense of self-esteem, the ego has become a sort of villain in the personal development community, mostly by Ryan Holiday trying to sensationalize a rather complicated and often nuanced philosophy called stoicism.
Your ego is not your enemy. Your ego is not an excuse for being obnoxious, arrogant, or self-centered.
Everyone, no matter their level of success in life, struggles with their inner critic.
It’s just how it is.
Most of my twenties were controlled by the debilitating beliefs that are often the side-effect of a too harsh inner critic. I was often paralyzed by fear. Wrecked by insecurity. I struggled with high-functioning depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
“Most of the challenges that we have in our personal lives come from a short-term focus”
The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In these studies, a child had to choose between receiving a small reward immediately or two small rewards if they waited for a short period, during which the tester left the room and then returned.
The obvious issue with self-help is this: its ultimate goal is to reach a point where you no longer need it.
Think about it: The whole goal of personal growth is to build yourself to be the person you’ve always wanted. The whole point of pursuing happiness is to reach a point where happiness no longer has to be pursued.
I only ever experienced real writer’s block once in my life.
March 2014 was the worst month of my life. My grandfather died, my girlfriend broke up with me, my father decided to never speak with me again, and I had to struggle with quite a few serious health issues.
Not the end of the world, but the closest thing to my world ending I had ever experienced until then.
When it comes to writing, my mantra is, “Punch the damn keys.” I once wrote that, “if done right, tears turn into gold.”
On the 14th of February 1990, just as the Voyager 1 probe was leaving the Solar System, some 3.7 billion miles away from Earth, Carl Sagan asked NASA to turn it around to snap a photograph of our home.
The resulting photograph showed the Earth as a pale blue dot, less than a pixel in size. A speck of dust in a seemingly infinite universe.