When you’re young, you endure a lot of older people (usually well-intentioned) offering a lot of (usually unsolicited and often misguided) advice.
I know I heard a lot of alleged wisdom from all quarters–family members, teachers, peers, wanna-be experts, complete idiots. I listed to advice from guys who’d hit it big and had no clue how they’d done it (and would never do it again) as well as regret-filled failures whose golden opportunity had slipped through their grasp.
They all had maxims, slogans, and mottoes that were supposed to be clever, inspirational, eternal, universal, and incredibly helpful. Few were.
The only one I remember was this: “Your commitment to excellence will determine your quality of life.”
It was stated without fanfare by a conservatively-dressed older gentleman who had little else to add to the statement. I think someone in the group of young men gathered in the small room had asked him for one piece of advice, or the one thing he’d learned in his years of being very, very successful, not only in his career, but in his life.
And that’s what he said. I don’t really remember if he added anything to it. I do remember thinking he really didn’t need to.