September 23

“Accordingly, some things torment us more than they ought; some torment us before they ought; and some torment us when they ought not torment us at all.” – Seneca

A lot of stuff is going to happen to us without our consent in life. The day will start whether we want it to or not and it pretty much just keeps snowballing from there. There are some things we control and they are pretty easy to identify. They include our actions, our words, our thoughts, our emotions, and the way we are towards others as well as ourselves. And that’s about it. We can only control those things. But we can control those things as much or as little as we choose to.

When we focus on the things we can not control we spend energy and time and get nothing in return. This leads to frustration. The problem with the frustration is that we often are unable to actually identify what is frustrating us so more often than not, we double down on trying to exert control over the external world. It turns out that doing more of the thing that frustrated us in the first place does not lead to less frustration.

Instead, we should be focusing on the things we can control. The very first thing we need to control is how we are thinking about a situation. Then we need to control how we are acting, and finally we need to control what we are doing and what we are planning to do. If we can do that, we can avoid a lot of unnecessary suffering.

virtus fortis vocat

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