If you have anger issues, this one is a great tool, H/T mindyourbusiness:
Disclaimer: I’m not your Supervisor. These are my opinions after reading through these books a few times.
“Let Fate find us prepared and active. Here is the great soul—the one who surrenders to Fate. The opposite is the weak and degenerate one, who struggles with and has a poor regard for the order of the world, and seeks to correct the faults of the gods rather than their own.”
—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 107.12
What ever happens I try to be ready mentally and physically. When he says “surrender to fate”, I take that as fate is outside of my control. I could not control my surgery and recovery weakness, but I can control what I do now as I work to get back in shape. I also can’t control the outside world, but I can control how much I interact with and depend on it. Struggling against what I can’t control, while ignoring what I can control is not productive or impressive.
“Don’t let your reflection on the whole sweep of life crush you. Don’t fill your mind with all the bad things that might still happen. Stay focused on the present situation and ask yourself why it’s
so unbearable and can’t be survived.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.36
I try not to worry about the whole end goal too much. 20 pullups seems like an impossibility right now, when I can only do 6. But if I focus on a smaller goal, last week I did 5 and my first week back in the gym I did 0, so I am improving. I started a new notebook because seeing what I used to do prior to surgery was depressing. Same with life, if I look at my total debt, it seems like a lot, because it is. If I make a plan and focus on the snowball(Dave Ramsey) it seems much more manageable. Sometimes it’s best to keep your head down and keep walking, eventually you’ll get to the end.
“If then it’s not that the things you pursue or avoid are coming at you, but rather that you in a sense
are seeking them out, at least try to keep your judgment of them steady, and they too will remain
calm and you won’t be seen chasing after or fleeing from them.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 11.11
If I know what I want and work to get it with what I control, that keeps a steady goal for me. If I try to bend the world to get it, that is unreasonable. It’s important to know what I am chasing and avoiding, and why. I also have to understand what parts of these things are outside of my control and leave them be.
“We should take wandering outdoor walks, so that the mind might be nourished and refreshed by the open air and deep breathing.”
—SENECA, ON TRANQUILITY OF MIND, 17.8
I don’t go on walks, but I do run. I usually listen to music and sometimes actually pay attention to the songs. Usually my mind wanders and I think about my life, my wife, a work situation, and whatever else comes to mind. Sometimes I have thought of solutions or a different approach to a problem while doing this. My wife usually walks while I run and after I’m done, we walk together for a few minutes. We don’t usually talk, but it is enjoyable in the silence.
“If you are defeated once and tell yourself you will overcome, but carry on as before, know in the end you’ll be so ill and weakened that eventually you won’t even notice your mistake and will begin to rationalize your behavior.”
—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 2.18.31
I do this with Nutter Butter cookies. I will get a glass of milk and open a “Family Size” pack, intending on eating 3 or 4. I actually stop when I eat half of them. On the bright side, I have stopped lying to myself and when I get them out, I fully intend to eat half. This has helped me not do it as often. But, I have not told my wife to stop buying them, nor do I intend to. I also do this with reading, I tell myself that I’ll read until 10 so I can wake up at 5 feeling rested, but read until 1030 or 11 and hate myself when the alarm goes off. If I stop pretending I will quit early, and be honest with myself about how tired I will be, it might help me not go past the limit.
“You could enjoy this very moment all the things you are praying to reach by taking the long way around—if you’d stop depriving yourself of them.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 12.1
Does this mean I can eat as many Nutter Butters as I want? Or does this mean happiness and serenity are mine anytime I want to stop stressing out about things outside of my control? I am taking the long way around to happiness if I put a starting point to it. “I’ll be happy on vacation next month”, “I’ll stop stressing out after I finish this project”. Or I could choose to be happy and not stress out now.
“The beautiful and good person neither fights with anyone nor, as much as they are able, permits others to fight . . . this is the meaning of getting an education—learning what is your own affair and what is not. If a person carries themselves so, where is there any room for fighting?”
—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 4.5.1; 7b–8a
Fighting doesn’t help. On an intellectual level I know this, but I am not a Vulcan. When my mom said she couldn’t be around my wife because she didn’t get jabbed, and then smugly said “I’m following the SCIENCE”, I might have yelled a little. I didn’t talk to her for awhile after that. This got my wife upset, because she felt like she had caused it. This made me madder and had less desire to talk to my mom, even though it would have helped my wife. Now mom acts like nothing ever happened and I am trying to do the same. Looking back, if I had kept my cool and waited her out, it never would have been an issue.
I know nobody cares, but Eluveitie (pronounced El Vay Tee) has a new song.
The video starts with Carnyx horns, how is that not cool?
Hoping for a new album and maybe I will get to see them live.
How many songs are there denouncing Julius Caesar’s propaganda during the Gaulish wars?
Or one about the final battle?