In every situation, there are things we can control and things we can’t. We can control what we say or do, but trying to control what we can't is a recipe for anxiety and stress.
MORE IDEAS FROM If something's out of your control, should you still worry about it? | Oliver Burkeman
A preliminary tool is to separate what you can control from what you can't. But you will only have peace of mind if you begin taking action in the realm of what you can control.
We often have far more control than we realize. You can't stop a worldwide spread of a disease, but you can do a lot to prevent it from spreading to you: you can choose to eat well and to move. You can't choose to get through today's to-do list, but you can choose to spend the next three hours diligently attacking it.
If we could manage never to fret about things we can’t control, then life would proceed calmly. However, the truth of this statement can't bring peace of mind by itself.
One of the many things we can't control is our emotions. If a global pandemic triggers anxiety about death or job security, anxieties formed over decades, it is almost impossible to think yourself into realizing they're insignificant.
It is a mental model, a way of thinking backward about what you don’t want to happen. It is about taking an idea upside down and thinking about what could go wrong.
Inversion is a powerful thinking tool because it puts a spotlight on errors and roadblocks that are not obvious at first glance.
Stoicism is made up of conflicting writings, especially around God, determinism vs free will, happiness vs avoidance of pain etc. Today most Stoic fans are practicing a cafeteria approach: picking up the few useful bits, modifying others, discarding the rest.
But it’s important to know that this is what we’re doing. Because to the extent that we’re taking this approach, we’re not practicing Stoicism. We are abandoning it and relying implicitly on different (and often unidentified) philosophic ideas.
Is the way of thinking in which you consider the opposite of what you want.
Inversion puts a spotlight on errors and roadblocks that are not obvious at first glance. What if the opposite was true? What if I focused on a different side of this situation? Instead of asking how to do something, ask how to not do it.
❤️ Brainstash Inc.