…t as if giving to a man who is already full and satisfied food which he does not want but can hold. So you must not think a man has lived long because he has white hair and wrinkles: he has not lived long, just existed long. For suppose you should think that a man had had a long voyage who had been caught in a raging storm…
It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.
You cannot be happy if you’re attached to outcomes. You need to be attached to principles, values, and meanings. You need to be attached to processes and continually doing your absolute best work — living with integrity and continually raising your standards for what you can do and be.
Don’t attach your identity to outcomes. Instead, attach your identity to your WHY, and to your behaviors — those things you can control. Principles govern outcomes. You govern your behaviors and you define your WHY.