Daily Stoic: What We Control And What We Don’t

“Some things are in our control, while others are not. We control our opinion, choice, desire, aversion, and, in a word, everything of our own doing. We don’t control our body, property, reputation, position, and, in a word, everything not of our own doing. Even more, the things in our control are by nature free, unhindered, and unobstructed, while those not in our control are weak, slavish, can be hindered, and are not our own.” ~ Epictetus, Enchiridion

Inspired by The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

This goes back to the first passage of the year, Control and Choice. There are things beyond our control. But, that does not mean we are weak. Quite the opposite. For every thing that happens beyond our control – such as a pandemic, other people’s actions, luck – there is a corresponding area that is in our control. We control our thoughts and actions about those situations, which gives us power. Will you use that power for good or evil? It’s not easy to control yourself sometimes. But, it gets easier the more you practice. When something happens, instead of immediately reacting, pause and truly evaluate the situation. Turn it into something good and positive. It’s not easy. But, the more you maintain control of yourself, you will find that you have a literal super power within you that you never had before.

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