Amor Fati

It’s hard enough to endure bad luck with poise and grace, but it’s another thing entirely to actually enjoy it– to find the good in it.

But that’s exactly what great men and women are able to do:

At age 67, Thomas edison returned home one evening from another day at the laboratory. Shortly after dinner, a man came rushing into his house with urgent news: A fire had broken out at Edison’s research and production campus a few miles away.

Fire engines from eight nearby towns rushed to the scene, but they could not contain the blaze. Fueled by the strange chemicals in the various buildings, green and yellow flames shot up six and seven stories, threatening to destroy the entire empire Edison had spent his life building.

Edison calmly but quickly made his way to the fire, through the now hundreds of onlookers and devastated employees, looking for his son. “Go get your mother and all her friends,” he told his son with childlike excitement. “They’ll never see a fire like this again.”


Don’t worry, Edison calmed him. “It’s all right. We’ve just got rid of a lot of rubbish.”

That’s a pretty amazing reaction. But when you think about it, there really was no other response.

What should Edison have done? Wept? Gotten angry? Quit and gone home? What, exactly, would that have accomplished?

To do great things, we need to be able to endure tragedy and setbacks. We’ve got to love what we do and all that it entails, good and bad. We have to learn to find joy in every single thing that happens.

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday






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