“The proper work of the mind is the exercise of choice, refusal, yearning, repulsion, preparation, purpose, and assent. What then can pollute and clog the mind’s proper functioning? Nothing but its own corrupt decisions.” ~ Epictetus, Discourses
Man, the mind is so powerful! I never considered the tasks that it needs to perform. This is pretty cool taking some time to evaluate my mind each day. Epictetus is so epic! (is that where the word “epic” comes from? hmmm.) According to him, each individual…and some people may find this to believe…is responsible for his or her actions.
Now let’s break down this mind task list quick:
Choice: There are many choices we need make each day. Basically, everything is a choice – from what we do with our time, to how we interact (or if we even interact) with other people, to how we choose to respond to situations or events.
Refusal: Don’t let anything toxic control your mind. Bad things happen. Just accept that it happened, then let it pass through. Don’t let it stick and then obsess over it.
Yearning: Always look for things to better your life. You don’t want to get stale and stagnant.
Repulsion: Keep away from toxicity and negativity. If someone’s bringing down your vibe, tell them to talk to the hand. (Is that still a thing? If not, it should be).
Preparation: Try to be as prepared as you can for any situation. The site lucidwisdom.me put it brilliantly:
“Guard your mind, for it is under constant attack. Everywhere you go and everywhere you look there is a constant stream of distraction begging for your minds attention. Prepare the mind by controlling your outer world. Turn off unnecessary digital input. Chose your conversation partners carefully. And make a daily routine out of closing your eyes and going within, turning off all unnecessary thoughts and just let the mind rest.”
Purpose: Try to find your purpose, and work toward achieving it and living it.
Assent: Rise above the negativity. Don’t be influenced by people who don’t want the best for you.
I hope you are enjoying these posts. Please bear with me as this is all new to me and I am still finding my voice. I am enjoying reading these Daily Stoic passages and writing about them.