CONSIDER, you who are going to take your trial, what you wish to preserve, and in what to succeed. For if you wish to preserve a choice conformable to nature, you are resting safe; everything goes well; you have no trouble on your hands. While you wish to preserve what is in your own power, and which is naturally free, and are contented with that, whom have you longer to care for? For who is the master of things like these? Who can take them away.''If you wish to be a man of honour and fidelity, who shall prevent you? If you wish not to be restrained or compelled, who shall compel you to desires contrary to your principles; to aversions contrary to your opinion? The judge, perhaps, will pass a sentence against you which he thinks formidable: but how can he likewise make you receive it with aversion? Since, then, desire and aversion are in your own power, what have you else to care for? Let this be your introduction, this your narration, this your proof, this your victory, this your conclusion, and this your applause.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book ii. §2. ¶1
We need to understand what is truly in our power. If we set a goal and it is something that is totally beyond our capacity to achieve, we will be miserable and feel thwarted. We need to put value in the appropriate goals and principles and will thus achieve a happy and productive life.ReplyDelete
I can want to be a CEO of a major corporation but the only thing that is in my control for this goal is getting the skills necessary and being the best employee I can. Whether I am actually hired as a CEO is beyond my control. This is why so much of our society is frustrated and angry, they have set their goals as a title rather than being the type of person worthy of that title.
Our true achievements are not measured by acquisition, but by our courage to be virtuous, to act appropriately. If we are to be success driven, let us then be successful at generosity, integrity, moderation, and wisdom.ReplyDelete
You are free. No one can prevent you from being just, courageous, compassionate, and temperate. No one can force you to be unjust, fearful, uncaring and greedy. Only you have the power to choose how you will act and what you intend. Therefore only you bear the responsibility for your actions and intentions. - Inspired by EpictetusReplyDelete