A Love of Fate

I have this email from Tucker in 2006 right when his book came out. What I remember to be so striking about it was how sure he was of its success. It made sense to me then because I was starstruck by the whole thing and it makes sense now in light of what has happened, but objectively, by the facts of the time, it is unbelievable. What’s impressive about Tucker’s is that his ego hasn’t changed since I first met him. His confidence wasn’t bolstered by selling over a million books. He’d already absorbed that, factored it in and reflected on it…before it happened.

If you’re someone prone to self doubt or discouragement or despondency, you probably wish he could bottle that elixir and sell it. I know I certainly wouldn’t have felt, as he did, that it was only natural that a book that dipped off the bestseller lists almost immediately after release could eventually pop back into frame and burn them up for more than 100 weeks in a row. I don’t even feel that way about smaller things that are much more certain, where credit it probably due and the stakes are not so high.

But on the other hand, I wonder if he can truly appreciate how insane that all is. That he’s driving around the country in a bus with his name and likeness on the side. That he’s now on the edge of cracking into a part of the cultural consciousness. Or if he’s already somehow taken this into account and moved onto to something else that hasn’t even happened yet.

I wonder if that trade off is worth it. Or maybe there is a middle way that avoids the pitfalls of my anxiety and his assuredness: living in the moment. To be content with what happens, as it happens. To have no ‘way’ the future needs to be to confirm your perception because you don’t have one. For each moment to be a refresh, wiping clear what came before and what you thought might come next.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.