February 11

WHEN you let go your attention for a little while, do not fancy you may recover it whenever you please; but remember this, that by means of the fault of to-day your affairs must necessarily be in a worse condition for the future. First, what is the saddest thing of all, a habit arises of not attending; and then a habit of deferring the attention, and always driving off from time to time, and procrastinating a prosperous life, a propriety of behaviour, and the thinking and acting conformably to nature. Now, if the procrastination of anything is advantageous, the absolute omission of it is still more advantageous; but, if it be not advantageous, why do not you preserve a constant attention?

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §12. ¶1.

"WHAT, then, is it possible by these means to be faultless?"

Impracticable; but this is possible, to use a constant endeavour to be faultless. For we shall have cause to be satisfied if, by never remitting this attention, we shall be exempt at least from a few faults.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §12. ¶4.


  1. These are great ideas. I should really implement some of these, sometime...

    I like the razor's edge that he asks us to use to test our procrastination. If it is worth avoiding, it is worth avoiding completely. Otherwise, delaying that which is appropriate for the moment only causes greater consternation in the future.

  2. Diligent effort is the secret. It is so easy in our modern world to become distracted from the important things, health, fitness, maintenance and upkeep of the home and body. Living with structure and deliberation helps us to remain aware of our responsibilities that tend to only clamour for our attention when it is too late, our health has deteriorated or we have a major repair for our home. Slow and steady really does win the race.