“If you want to get better you need to stop worrying like this; ‘If I don’t work hard I won’t have enough money to live the lifestyle I am used to.’ Or ‘If I’m not hard on the people under me, they will never live up to my expectations.’ It is better to die hungry without the worry and stress than to live in abundance of wealth and abundance of stress. It is better to have those under you act poorly than for you to live unhappily.” – Epictetus
This is a lot to unpack and share some thoughts to get your mental fire started in less than a few minutes. And I’ve just wasted a few seconds!
This isn’t saying that we shouldn’t work hard. Nor is it saying that we won’t sometimes have to come down hard on our staff, our children or even our friends depending on the situation. What it is saying is that we should aim to be free of worrying about the need to do these things. And a lot of other things.
We are all still learning. If we are honest with ourselves and we commit to a lifetime of trying to become better, we will always be learning. Always. Stress, worry and uncertainty interrupt the learning process. Those things keep us from seeing the lesson we should be gaining from an experience.
So if we find ourselves losing sleep, having our private moments interrupted by thoughts about how hard we should be working, how we should be dealing with issues at work or home or any number of other issues we might be creating in our own minds we should pause and consider the effect that is having on our quality of life.
Better to let things play out naturally and learn from the experience than lose our rhythm, still fail to control the situation, and miss out on the lesson.
virtus fortis vocat