When I was 20 years old, I moved to New York City, and got a job at Warner/Chappell Music Publishing. I lived there for nine years, and got to know a lot of people in the music industry.
Ten years later, I came back to New York and met with many of the people I hadn’t seen in 15 years.
Every single one had ended up about where you’d expect, based on their character.
The disciplined ones succeeded.
The temperamental ones flamed out.
The ones that acted like leaders were now leaders.
The ones that blamed everyone else for their lack of results were still just doing that.
It didn’t matter where they were at before. What mattered is the direction they were headed. I met some of them when they were unpaid interns at the bottom of the ranks, but had they had the determination and smart approach that led them to the top. I met others when they had some success, but seemed so fragile or combustible, and yep — they came tumbling down.
Character isn’t fate or destiny. Character isn’t just DNA, decided before birth. It’s your little choices and little actions. You feel the pull to do the wrong thing, but do the right thing instead.
How you do anything is how you do everything. It all matters.
Your actions are completely under your control, and seem to be the best indicator of future success.