Having to implement a project you dislike is the worst. With merry ease, some creative director or executive outlines their vision and then leaves for a month of lunches while you are tasked with making it real. Now, alas, the all-gray interior must be designed, the loathsome video must be shot, the accursed app must be coded. You aren’t alone. Very few of us have genuine creative control over what we do. So, how to proceed? The traditional guidance is to muddle on. Character, and professionalism, after all, are defined by how well we perform in suboptimal situations. This type of advice traces its roots to Stoic philosophy. Stoics taught that character and virtue should be pursued with near-inhuman indifference to circumstance. Marcus Aurelius, a Stoic and Roman emperor, lived by this rule: “No matter what This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Five Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 50 Close Knit Close Knit: Meet the weavers keeping traditional Egyptian tapestrymaking alive. Arts & Culture Issue 50 The Old Gays Inside a Californian TikTok “content house” of a very different stripe. Arts & Culture Issue 50 New Roots The Palestinian art and agriculture collective sowing seeds of community. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Angela Trimbur An all-out tour de force. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Peace & Quiet In the UK, a centuries-old Quaker meeting house encourages quiet reflection. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Free Wheelers On the road with London’s Velociposse Cycling Club.