freedom

Conquering Fears, freedom

One Simple Trick To Be Powerful, NOW


No Comments

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

Unhappiness comes from not being able to tell what’s your problem and what is not your problem. Peace of mind comes once you are able to make the distinction and act accordingly.

It’s the famous ‘focus on the things that are under your control’ Stoic precept. It’s easy, right? But not so much, sometimes I kept forgetting this lesson and couldn’t really apply it to my day to day life. I felt somehow stuck and needed an easier technique to practice. I found it. I recently read “The seven habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey’s circle of influence and circle of concern, which basically is the same idea of control from Epictetus, but frankly, better to understand and more applicable to daily life.

The two circles: Influence and Concern

These two circles represent the things that are under your control and the things that are not.

Concern

Within your circle of concern, you’ll find the many things that you care about but that is not under your control. Such as the decisions your president makes or not and whether your friend will marry the girl you know is going to cheat on him. Whether you are going to get that promotion or not, and whether you are going to be able to make it on time with all the damn traffic. You have no control over this circle and although you might care about what happens here, you really have no choice but to stop caring. The more time you spent on this circle, the more you empower what’s in it. You should never spend even one second of your time preoccupying yourself about what happens or does not in here. Instead…

Influence

Focus on your circle of influence. Your circle of influence is your circle of control. It represents all the things that you can actually do something about. Such as having a deep, personal conversation with your friend about what you think is best for him or preparing a killer resume for the new job you want.

In reality, you have a lot of power, but if your focus is placed mainly in your circle of concern, you will not be even able to consider the options you have in your circle of influence, which quite frankly, once you make the switch, ARE A LOT.

Focusing on your influence, that is, in the things that are under your control and nothing more, will guarantee a more effective, happy, and peaceful life.

Now, how to go about this?

Know the difference.

Once you’re finished reading this, think about where you are directing your attention. You need to take control of your attention and focus it on your circle of influence, it’s simple, but not easy. Our heads are constantly bugging us with the circle of concern, this requires practice.

Some examples.

If someone is having a hard time at work and is constantly complaining. Categorize it. Is it within your circle of influence or concern? Concern right? Discard it. Now, reframe, what can I do instead?

Putting some music and relying on yourself for self-amusement? That’s inside your influence circle. Work there.

Categorize everything. Place your attention in your circle of influence.

You’ll be amazed by how much unnecessary bullshit we concern ourselves with.

But, fortunately, there is a way out. Focusing on the things that you can control, that is, your circle of influence.

“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” 
― Epictetus

a great complement to this read: Are You A Pretender?

Subscribe and receive the Askesis ebook to further develop your practice of stoicism.

Subscribe here

Visit our Patreon page for more stoic, Patreon only content. Thanks.

I’m always open to suggestions and am happy to answer any questions. stoicanswers@gmail.com

Advertisements
Self development

One Solution For All Of Your Problems


No Comments

“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

Subscribe and receive the Askesis ebook to further develop your practice of stoicism.

Subscribe here

Visit our Patreon page for more stoic, Patreon only content. Thanks.

I’m always open to suggestions and am happy to answer any questions. stoicanswers@gmail.com