Everything you built or cherish can be taken away from you. That's why the Stoics say we need to be prepared for the twists and turns of life, even the cruel and heartbreaking ones.
Seneca said that nothing happens to the wise man contrary to his expectation, because the wise man has considered every possibility.
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The last few months have been a good example of that.
Just think of what you occupied your time with, while at home, before. Maybe you and your wife were planning to remodel the house. Or perhaps you were furious that Amazon took an extra day to deliver a package. But now, putting these things into perspective, they seem almost silly.
In his own life, Seneca practiced “the premeditation of evils”.
If, for instance, he planned a journey, he would go over the things that could go wrong - a storm, or an attack by pirates. This way, he was always prepared for disruption because he worked it into his plans.
Sometimes life goes our way and sometimes it doesn't. Life gives us bad situations, but it also gives us surprising gifts when we least expect it.
When we're going through a bad break, we should not forget Fortune's power to redeem us.
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy that was founded by Zeno of Citium, in Athens, in the early 3rd century BC.
It is an ancient tool for remaining calm in adversity, a philosophical framework, useful in providing an ethical scaffold for both everyday life and in times of difficulty.
It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested… So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.
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