How long are
you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself and in no instance
bypass the discrimination of reason? You have been given the principles that
you ought to endorse, and you have endorsed them. What kind of teacher, then,
are you still waiting for in order to refer your self-improvement to him? You
are no longer a boy, but a full-grown man. If you are careless and lazy now and
keep putting things off and always deferring the day after which you will
attend to yourself, you will not notice that you are making no progress, but
you will live and die as someone quite ordinary.
From now on,
then, resolve to live as a grown-up who is making progress, and make whatever
you think best a law that you never set aside. And whenever you encounter
anything that is difficult or pleasurable, or highly or lowly regarded,
remember that the contest is now: you are at the Olympic Games, you cannot wait
any longer, and that your progress is wrecked or preserved by a single day and
a single event. That is how Socrates fulfilled himself by attending to nothing
except reason in everything he encountered. And you, although you are not yet a
Socrates, should live as someone who at least wants to be a Socrates.
― Epictetus

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