“You have conventional things that everyone understands, mysteries that no one does, and secrets that people try to figure it out. Those who believe there are secrets are those who will look for things to discover and will find them. And the people who don’t, won’t even try.”
— Peter Thiel
“Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.”

Do you think it’s a question of how much you balance that drive to achieve with being present and enjoying the moment?

You know, it’s funny because I frequently get emails from young people starting out and asking, “How do I make a successful website or start my own thing?” And, very often, it’s tied to some measure of success that’s audience-based or reach-based. “How do you build up to seven million readers a month or two million Facebook fans?” But the work is not how to get that size of an audience or those numbers. That’s just the byproduct of what Lewis Hyde calls “creative labor,” which is really our inner drive. The real work is how not to hang your self-worth, your sense of success and merits, the fullness of your heart, and the stability of your soul on those numbers—on that constant positive reinforcement and external validation. That’s the only real work, and the irony is that the more “successful” you get, by either by your own standards or external standards, the harder it is to decouple all of those inner values from your work. I think we often confuse the doing for the being.