Resolve to know what you can control

The end of year reckoning is often a punch to the gut, but it shouldn’t be.

Michael Schofield
Dec 30, 2019 · 2 min read

Ambition means tying your well-being to what other people say or do. Self-indulgence means tying it to the things that happen to you. Sanity means tying it to your own actions.

— Marcus Aurelius

How concerned are you with the sound of your job title? I care. To me, a good job title can act like a key that, in a speaker’s or writer’s bio, at a networking event, on twitter, wherever, can unlock clout. But how much of the job title — let alone you being hired in the first place — is really in your control?

What, if anything, did you treat yourself to over the holidays? How much of your sense of well-being is tied to the roof over your head, the number of shows you binged, or what’s in the fridge? How much of any of that is in your control?

The end of the year is wrapped-up in self-evaluation and resolution, and what I would encourage us to carry in to the new year is appreciation for how little is actually within our sphere of control. We can control our actions — but circumstance, opportunity, luck: the greater part of the mix that are our careers? — we can only control how we act or react.

What sense is there in tying our happiness to a lottery? Consider, instead, resolving to

  • be less reactive
  • think first
  • and memento mori 💀

for a Happy New Year.

Craft virtuously,
Michael Schofield

Please take a second to ❤ this post. Or, if mindful design is your thing, subscribe to Stoic Designer.

Remember that design is not art, but a practice.

Michael Schofield

Written by

User Experience Development Lead @WhereByUs. 🎙 Metric: the User Experience Design Podcast (

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