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For any given course of action you take, there’s at least one philosophy that condemns it and there’s at least one philosophy that condones it.

In other words, everything you do is both right and wrong, genius and idiotic, resourceful and wasteful depending on which critic or commentator you listen to.

Some people choose to tune out the critics and they point to all the satisfied observers as evidence of their success. Others choose to orient their actions around pleasing their critics. “If I can win them over,” they think, “I will have achieved success.”

Both approaches, however, are externally defined. And anytime you begin with externally defined approaches to determining your success, you’re building your legacy on sinking sand.

The first key to being successful is defining what it means to be successful on your own terms. Don’t waste your time trying to live up to external standards unless it’s an honest expression of your internal standards.

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