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A Series of Outcomes

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” — Walter Elliot

“The future we have bet on unfolds as a series of outcomes.” — Annie Duke, Thinking in Bets

The journey of becoming what’s next never stops, does it? We just move from one version of ourselves to the next, and then the next still, until we reach the end of our days. The trick is to build off each, creating something bigger than our current selves in the process. Life is reinvention and renewal, but it is also fragile and fraught with danger. We must be bold in our choices and tough in our resolve.

“The thing about life is that you must survive. Life is going to be difficult, and dreadful things will happen. What you do is move along, get on with it, and be tough. Not in the sense of being mean to others, but being tough with yourself and making a deadly effort not to be defeated.”
― Katharine Hepburn

Being hyper-aware of the race we’re currently in is essential to savoring a life well-lived. So too is being hyper-aware of the direction we’re going in, that we might stay on course for who we aspire to be in the next version of ourselves, and the one after that. We must play the long game even as we deal with the cards we’ve been dealt in this hand.

There is no other way to progress through this life than one step at a time. Sometimes we leap, sometimes we take smaller steps than we’d like. Sometimes we go sideways around an obstacle. But we must feel the urgency of the moment and act. Life is urgent because life is so brief. We simply have no time to lose if we are to reach the places we’ve set our course for. And yet we must take the long view, even as we deal in today. Life is now, with an eye on whatever we can make of then. We must get on with it.

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