, , , ,

Epictetus (55-135 CE) Enchiridion
A manual for living a contented life
Rendered by Charles Scamahorn (1935- ) 2014

Paragraph 37

When you choose to do some job that is beyond your ability, it is likely that you will fail. And when you fail you will disgrace yourself by having attempted something you were unprepared to do. In addition you commit another, not so obvious, error by not performing those jobs for which you are fitted and where you would be successful.


Many commentators throughout history have encouraged boldness, and reaching far beyond that for which you are prepared or even capable. In fact many people who reach a high station in life have pursued such a path, but what we don’t see are the vast numbers of others who began with the same aspirations and failed, some miserably, and some have even lost their lives. Most of those overreaching failures would probably have been quite successful if they had only chosen their goals more wisely, and thus more appropriately. Your life trajectory is your choice.