If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
There shouldn’t be anything in yourself that you admire as much as your capacity to deal with reality on your own conditions.
The simple, greatest stoic teaching, to develop inner confidence
in choosing to be content with concentrating explicitly on those things that are directly under your control.
It is painfully easy to derange ourselves into thinking that outer happiness and fame or fortune are worthier or feel better than a strong and imperturbable character
It is only during dark times that you are reminded, painfully so, that strength of character is worth so much more than fame or success materially in life. Remembering the strength of character and a powerful will during this times is easy, you have no other option, it is during happy times which strength of character must be constantly reminded to be ready.
So use all that is called Fortune. Most men gamble with her, and gain
all, and lose all, as her wheel rolls. But do thou leave as unlawful these
winnings, and deal with Cause and Effect, the chancellors of God. In the
Will work and acquire, and thou hast chained the wheel of Chance, and shalt
sit hereafter out of fear from her rotations. A political victory, a rise of rents,
the recovery of your sick, or the return of your absent friend, or some other
favorable event, raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for
you. Do not believe it. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing
can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The great Theodore Roosevelt wrote to his brother in 1880: “My happiness is so great that it makes me almost afraid.” He had had a terrific year, he wrote a book attended public office and won his first public office. Fortune, sometimes smiles greatly upon us, at least once. In 1884 when his daughter was born, however, just two days after birth, his wife died from Brights disease and two hours later in the same hospital, his mother from Typhoid fever. He marked in his diary that grim day with a big X in his diary.
Life comes at you fast. You never know what is going to happen, all you can do is be prepared to face it
. Later Roosevelt wrote:
“We cannot avoid meeting great issues. All that we can determine for ourselves is
whether we shall meet them well or ill.”
Self-ownership must be practiced at all times. This is a constant practice.
With practice, anything can be attained, but there are few things as important in life as really owning our presence here on earth.
Remember that fortune will benefit or harm you at any moment, she is not to be trusted. Know this and you will be free.
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