I don’t know of any place or time where there aren’t great possibilities, you miss one revolution, another one happens.
A longer time horizon allows you to take in your stride the lead times that inevitably pass before you can make a mark, and to put obstacles into context. You are not thrown off track as much as someone with a short-term view, and instead of a wish, your success takes on an air of relaxed inevitability. Yet the long view takes courage.
People with a long-time horizon tend to be more confident because they feel in control of their destiny.
As Fritjof Capra noted in The Tao of Physics: ‘The Chinese believe that whenever a situation develops to its extreme, it is bound to turn around and become its opposite. This basic belief has given them courage and perseverance in times of distress and has made them cautious and modest in times of success.
The great art critic and aesthete John Ruskin counselled: ‘Never depend upon your genius. If you have talent, industry will improve it; if you have none, industry will supply the deficiency.’ Voltaire, who liked to prick the balloon of privilege and rank, remarked that there was a very fine line that separates the person of ‘genius’ from the ordinary man. ‘Work’, he said, ‘banishes those three great evils: boredom, vice and poverty.’ Buffon, the 19th-century naturalist, simply said: ‘Genius is patience.’
As Ellison said to Wilson: ‘I don’t know of any place or time where there aren’t great possibilities.’ Exactly. You miss one revolution, another one happens.
It is never enough to be excellent or even extraordinary in terms of talents, technical skills or ability to motivate and command people. For a person to reach his or her potential, there must be a certain amount of self-reflection and willingness to correct character flaws or rackets. Self-reflection may not be compatible with the go-getting nature of fast success, but it is compatible with real, slow-cooked success.
Think Long: Why It's Never Too Late To Be Great
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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