FOR, without strong and constant exercise, it is not possible to preserve our desire undisappointed, and our aversion unincurred; and therefore, if we suffer it to be externally employed on things independent on choice, be assured that your desire will neither gain its object, nor your aversion avoid it.
And, because habit hath a powerful influence, and we are habituated to apply our desire and aversion to externals only, we must oppose one habit to another, and where the appearances are most slippery, there oppose exercise. I am inclinable to pleasure. I will bend myself beyond a due proportion to the other side for the sake of exercise.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §12. ¶1, 2.
AFTERWARDS you will venture into the lists at some proper season, by way of trial, if at all, to see whether appearances get the better of you as much as they used to do. But at first, fly from what is stronger than you.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §12. ¶2.