To become a successful philosopher king, it is much better to start as a king than as a philosopher.
Seneca’s practical method to counter such fragility was to go through mental exercises to write off possessions, so when losses occurred he would not feel the sting – a way to wrest one’s freedom from circumstances. It is similar to buying an insurance contract against losses. For my last job, I wrote my resignation letter before starting the new position, locked it up in a drawer, and felt free while I was there. (Nassim Taleb, Antifragile)
He describes how Pryor, after making a bad movie, “Adios Amigo,” told Ebony to give a message to his fans: “Tell them I apologize. Tell them I needed some money. Tell them I promise never to do it again.” What other actor, having made a terrible movie, has said something so naked and sad and human to a national magazine? (Joan Acolla, Richard Pryor, Flame-Thrower)
I remember once spitting into a timer; not in anger, but in a spirit of research. You see, the Model T driver moved in the realm of metaphysics. He believed his car could be hexed. (E.B White, Farewell, My Lovely!)