We've got a roadmap for your success at work and beyond (Paid Content by Principles

When it comes down to it, most of the things that happen in your life are not unique. That may at first sound depressing, as we naturally think of ourselves as independent and special creatures, but it’s actually good news. Of course you’re interesting and have special talents, features, skills: You can cook a perfect Bolognese, or you’re an Olympic swimmer, or you’re the best coder in your new job (congratulations, by the way!). But these skills and, most importantly, the journeys undertaken to accomplish them, are not things you invented yourself. They’ve happened all throughout human history, and they’ll happen again. Think of it this way: everything is a machine.

No, that doesn’t mean the world is robotic and predictable. Quite the opposite. Rather, viewing life (yours and those of humankind as a whole) as mechanical simply means you’re acknowledging that the story of a life is comprised of events that happen over and over again, in cycles, some long and some short. That’s the reason why, now that you’ve started your new job, you’ve been reading articles online about how to thrive in a new position. Other people have done this before, and they’ve studied their experiences, learned from them, and passed that knowledge down to you. You won’t be the last person in history to get a new job, right? And this job won’t be the last new job you ever take, right? You’ll go through another similar cycle down the road.

Practically speaking, this means you should try taking the long view. By acknowledging that there are common principles that have proven successful for people in the past in navigating a new career, you’re opening yourself up to the study of those principles — and, hopefully, the success they can bring.

Of course, progress in your job and in your life will still require taking risks in order to reap bigger rewards. But with knowledge that whatever happens in your future, you’ll be far from the only person in history to experience it, you can at least prepare yourself to reason your way through unexpected outcomes. History does repeat itself. Make that work to your advantage.

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