“It is not poverty which produces sorrow, but desire; nor does wealth release us from worry, reason does that. If then, you acquire reason, you will neither desire wealth nor complain about poverty.” – Epictetus
Desire places our expectations and hopes in the realm of external things. Things we do not have any control over. When we allow our desires to control our thoughts and control the way that we see our own lives, we will never have enough to be happy. There will always be some experience, some luxury that we can not attain. If we allow our desire to run rampant, it will consume us and show us all of the areas in life where we are missing out.
This is one of the ways social media can be dangerous. When we only see the best in other’s lives – the vacations, the new cars, the new babies – we make comparisons to our own and fall short. Even though we do the same thing to others with our own social media accounts.
Instead, if we control how we see our lives based on the choices we are making internally, the way we control our emotions, how we discipline ourselves to listen more, and how we choose to see the things that happen to us, then we give ourselves a chance to make the choice to be content with what we have. We can stop contrasting what we have against what we don’t and focus on improving the things that are within our control.
And when we can do that, we are free.
Virtus Fortis Vocat