Self development

Self development

One Solution For All Of Your Problems


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“First say to yourself what you would be;
and then do what you have to do.”
Epictetus

Stoic philosophy is simple, but definitely not easy.

There are things that are under your control and there are things that are not. Basic Stoicism, but what often happened to me was that struggled to find the difference between things that were under my control and the things that were not. I found myself thinking more than acting and that didn’t help, I felt stuck. Stoicism is supposed to be a practical philosophy, ready to use at any time.

Life just happens, and sometimes it happens fast. Philosophy should be something that is ready at hand. Almost ingrained on our brains, because most of the times you don’t really have time to think. I fact, most of the time that’s how we act, on instinct. So how could I make Stoicism an instinct?

I needed to find a way of knowing the difference, in a simple manner.

Just like an onion, the same goes for Stoicism and all of life, really. When you think that you have something figured out, bam! Life hits you with more and more lessons to learn.

And so I found the answer to my problem on Stephen Covey’s book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.’

“Every time you think the problem is out there, that is the problem” — Stephen Covey

With this quote, I finally got it.

The problem is never out there

The only thing that you can really control in life is yourself. Sure, you have influence over a lot of stuff, but at the end of the day, the only thing that you can really control is yourself.

This is why, the only real problem you really have is whether or not you take the initiative to control what you can control, yourself, your responses and your attitudes.

A problem of courage, you might say.

You can have as many problems as anyone else, maybe less, maybe more. Regardless of that, the only way you can resolve them is through the actions and attitudes you take towards them. The next time you find yourself in a situation that requires you to act, think about being.

Being is always on your hands, you are doing it constantly. You can always choose to be a better person, to be more courageous, to be more intelligent, to be a good person, to be a stoic. The decision to assume a role in life and act accordingly is always within your grasp, right there..

Isn’t that amazing? This is the solution to all of your problems, being, and it cannot be taken away.

You might not be able to change things outside immediately, but inside? That’s another story. This is were true freedom lies, in knowing this, and applying it.

The problem is never ‘out there’, it never was.

“First say to yourself what you would be;
and then do what you have to do.”
Epictetus

Just like an onion hey?

a great complement to this read: Separation of Tasks

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Modern problems, Self development

Are You In Control?


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“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will. ” 
Epictetus

OK, as a Stoic, you know that you have control over your will, over your dispositions and also over your attitude. That’s within you immediate control and no one can take it from you. 

But is that it? Don’t you have a moderate amount of control over your bank account as well, for example?

Absolutely, although it can happen that the bank goes bankrupt or maybe you could live in Venezuela and see how all the value of your Venezuelan bolivars sinks to the floor, hey, anything can happen. But, right now, if you want to go to the store and buy something, you have control over your money, you can buy a coke, a snack or cigarettes. Just like this, you have power and influence over a lot of stuff in your life, the thing is, do you really know the difference between what is and what isn’t, and also, to what extent? Knowing this, would certainly save you a lot of time, wouldn’t it? Here’s why.

For a really, really strange reason, you find yourself in a room filled with sandwiches and rocks. Don’t ask me why. You are the one stuck in the room. After a while, naturally, you begin to feel hungry, so you eat a sandwich. Why didn’t you ate a rock instead? Dumb question, rocks are not meant to be eaten. So, if there were only rocks, would you get mad at the rocks for not being able to satisfy your hunger? Well of course not, they’re just rocks.

This dumb scenario plays just the same in so many aspects of our lives. For example with people. Just as you have a personality and a way of being, everyone else does as well. Some people like football, others hate it, some like to chat and have a drink, others like to read a book and sleep early. But quite often, we get really mad at people for not behaving in the way we want them to behave. Why would you get mad at a rock for not being able to satisfy your hunger? Dumb right? But then, why would you get mad with the early sleeper for not wanting to go out with you? Still dumb?

People just as rocks are different, it doesn’t do to get angry about a rock not being able to satisfy hunger, rather, it’s better to look for a sandwich.

So, you do have control, a lot. But you have to know where that control lies as well. It will depend a lot on your objectives and what you want to achieve. You might not be able to use a rock to feed yourself, but you can use it to build a house or to have fun with it and throw it to a pond. Just the same with everything else, realize where your control is and realize the nature of everything around you so you can act accordingly.

You have control, a lot, but you have to know how to properly use it!

a  great complement to this read: Where are you putting your attention?

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