Hang on in the face of difficulty

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.

@david_hendricks

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Self Improvement

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Life comes at us fast

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.

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.

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.

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RELATED IDEAS

Stoicism: A Primer
  • Stoicism is an ancient philosophy that has recently gone mainstream. It is a kind of premeditation that involves reframing our attitude towards external events.
  • Stoicism states that nothing is good or bad, valuable or miserable in itself, and it is our assumptions, beliefs and thought patterns that colour the world around us.
  • If we have control of our feelings, emotions and the mind in general, we would cease to be judgemental, happy or miserable.

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IDEAS

“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices.”
Inversion

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.

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