Have you ever had that feeling of suddenly realizing that whatever you are doing, you are doing it in a hurry? Like cooking dinner in a hurry, cleaning the house in a hurry or just about anything. I certainly have experienced it. The word I’m going to use is harsh, but it is what it is, it is simply disgusting.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote in his book The black Swan, something memorable I have not forgotten since. Don’t go trying to catch trains. The story goes likes this: He and his friend were running late and were in a kind of hurry to catch the train, but Nassim’s friend told him not to run, as he never ran to catch any trains. The value of that lesson is that missing a train is painful only if you are running for it, just as not matching the idea of success is only painful if that is what you are seeking.
Stoically, we control what we deem worthy. It’s very difficult to win a game you have not created, you are dependant of external rules, but, what about a game designed by ourselves? This is pure gold if you catch the idea. Being busy is disgusting because we are seeking something outside to give us peace, it can be arriving to the meeting or winning at a game, all these is external and out of our control and as it is that way, we panic when we cannot get what is outside of us. That is the idiots game. Managing life stoically, the rules are set by ourselves, instead of being busy and in a hurry, we can focus being calmed and using that nervousness to be calmed but sharp as an eagle.
The question is not whether something or not happens in the external world, but how do we respond to it. We cannot let our responses become reactions, we are not pinballs. We are designed to respond intelligently and that type of response can only be achieved by practice.
Stoicism is beautiful, correct action in the correct moment, with courage. Stoicism shows us to choose our game, and playing our inner game, playing as best as we can, is just bloody fantastic.
Good night friend.
I love stoicism and it would be great to show it to the whole world, help us doing that!