Seeking true wisdom seems, to me, like piecing together nuggets of advice that seem paradoxical until you truly understand them for yourself.
The trouble with listening to others alone is that you either get conflicting information or you pigeon hole yourself into one way of thinking. You must internalise what you hear, read, see and make it true to yourself.
Want to be successful? Easy, look for others more than yourself. Or. Easy, be ruthless in going after what you want. Both have been seen to be true, but how can it be so?
Back when I used to run more, we used to joke that it wasn’t the fastest person to run the 10k that won. It was the person that can run the 10k the fastest and still drink the most beers afterwards as that showed that you had balance in your life.
We could have run faster if we did not drink, cut out desserts, trained every day instead of socialising. But the goal was not to win the race at all costs of missing going out, it was to enjoy running.
If the goal was to win an Olympic medal, then clearly our strategy is not enough. People training for that have a singular focus and never give up. Until they give up. Or until they get the medal. Either way, there is a price to other things they could have been doing.
When setting your goals and choosing who to listen to you must decide if that is the person you want to be.
Do you want to be alone? Do you want to be hated? Do you want only fleeting relationships?
Because to get the surface level success that the masses covet, there may be some payoffs your idols had to make that you are not immediately aware of.
Decide what your goal is before you get on the treadmill otherwise it may be tricky to get off. And when you do, you might find you are back where you started in some areas of your life.