In the first few pages of the book Born Standing Up, Steve says something poignant:

One can have, it turns out, an affection for the war years.

He was someone chasing something external: fame, glory, money or a version of these. Yet, in his dusk years — once he had achieved some of those, he valued his struggle more than his fame and glory.

For Steve, it was not about achieving these, it was, as I have come to call it: a good fight.

The default setting in human mind is ‘unsatisfactory’. We like to make things and build them. We like change. Everyone I have met, has something more they want to do. Even saints and gurus who preach otherwise have them.

The well-to-do in every society revere artists, self-made billionaires, and Amazonian empire builders. This is not only because they have things we desire: wealth, fame or influence.

But more so because they have done something which we know we don’t have enough stomach for: fight the good fight.

We admire perseverance and grit on an emotional level. The fight seems to be a human condition. The pursuit of happiness is futile.