“If all that a person needs is concentrated within themselves, how can they require anything from without?” – Seneca
Self reliance. This allows us to be dependent on the only thing we actually have control over. Ourselves.
Like any of the skills involved in developing ourselves into the best versions of us, learning to be reliant on ourselves is a skill we will work on and develop over the course of our lives. Mastery in this, like mastery in anything is a goal we will approach but never actually arrive at.
This skill starts in us recognizing what is within our control, and what is not. In our control are our thoughts, our actions, the words we use with ourselves and others, and the way we allow the things we do not control to affect us.
Outside of our control is literally everything else. The words and actions of others. The way the natural world affects the environment we live in. The things that happen within our own bodies.
By drawing those distinctions clearly for ourselves – no small task in itself- we can then make an inventory of the things that we can actually affect around us. Once we have that inventory we then have to pick up the incredible task of not being affected by anything not on that list.
Once we have approached mastery of choosing not to allow the things we do not control to affect us, we will have approached having all that we need concentrated within ourselves.
virtus fortis vocat