Time to think…about what is in your control

“We control our reasoned choice and all acts that depend on that moral will. What’s not under our control are the body and any of its parts, our possessions, parents, siblings, children or country – anything with which we might associate.”Epictetus, Discourses The only thing in your control is your mind. That includes your attitudes, […]

Time to think…a path to serenity

“Keep this thought at the ready at daybreak, and through the day and night – there is only one path to happiness, and that is in giving up all outside of your sphere of choice, regarding nothing else as your possession, surrendering all else to God and Fortune.”Epictetus, Discourses. When you really crave something that […]

Time to think – about how you see things

A hanging shop sign featuring spectacles

“The essence of good is a certain kind of reasoned choice; just as the essence of evil is another kind. What about externals, then? They are only the raw material for our reasoned choice, which finds its own good or evil in working with them. How will it find the good? Not by marvelling at […]

Time to think…about what is in your control

“Some things are in our control, while others are not. We control our opinion, choice, desire, aversion, and, in a word, everything of our own doing. We don’t control our body, property, reputation, position, and, in a word, everything not of our own doing. Even more, the things in our control are by nature free, […]

Time to think…about our addictions

Sweets and chocolate

“We must give up many things to which we are addicted, considering them to be good. Otherwise, courage will vanish, which should continually test itself. Greatness of soul will be lost, which can’t stand out unless it disdains as petty what the mob regards as most desirable.”Seneca, Moral Letters. When we allow small pleasures and […]

Time to think…about the 7 functions of your mind

7 lemons

“Philosophy does not claim to get a person any external possession. To do so would be beyond its field. As wood is to the carpenter, bronze to the sculptor, so our own lives are the proper material in the art of living.” Epictetus, Discourses. Learn to live with what you have, in the here-and-now. Recognise […]

Time to think…about your intentions

“Let all your efforts be directed to something, let it keep that end in view. It’s not activity that disturbs people, but false conceptions of things that drive them mad.” Seneca, On Tranquility of Mind. Having an end goal in mind is important not only for the direction it gives you – towards a positive […]

Time to think…about your 3 gifts

“All you need are these: certainty of judgment in the present moment; action for the common good in the present moment; and an attitude of gratitude in the present moment for anything that comes your way.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Think about now, what you are doing now and what you can do differently right now. […]

Time to think…about control and choice

“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control.” Epictetus, Discourses. Don’t get your knickers in a twist or lose sleep over things you cannot […]

Time to think…about living your life

“Many times an old man has no other evidence besides his age to prove he has lived a long time.” Seneca, On Tranquility of Mind. Strip away your material possessions, money, status and the ‘gongs’ that signal what you have achieved, and what is left of your life? How will you rate how well you […]

Time to think…about fearing death

“Do you then ponder how the supreme of human evils, the surest mark of the base and cowardly, is not death, but the fear of death? I urge you to discipline yourself against such fear, direct all your thinking, exercises, and reading this way – and you will know the only path to human freedom.” […]

Time to think…about insignificant it all is

“Think of the whole universe of matter and how small your share. Think about the expanse of time and how brief – almost momentary – the part marked for you. Think of the workings of fate and how infinitesimal your role.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations It is easy to blow things out of proportion and to […]

Time to think…about it all being equal in the end

“Both Alexander the Great and his mule-keeper were both brought to the same place by death – they were either received into the all-generative reason, or scattered among the atoms.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Sooner or later we’re going to come to the end of our lives, and then we’ll all be equal. Worry not about […]

Time to think…about how long you’ve got

“You aren’t bothered, are you, because you weigh a certain amount and not twice as much? So why get worked up that you’ve been given a certain lifespan and not more? Just as you are satisfied with your normal weight, so you should be with the time you’ve been given.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. How long […]

Time to think…about saving time for yourself

“No person hands out their money to passers-by, but to how many do each of us hand out our lives! We’re tight-fisted with property and money, yet think too little of wasting time, the one thing about which we should all be the toughest misers.”Seneca, On The Brevity Of Life. How time flies. Our lives […]

Time to think…about accepting your emotions

“It’s better to conquer grief than to deceive it.” Seneca, On Consolation to Helvia. The purpose of emotions is to make us do something in order to stay alive. Grief comes when our basic emotional need to love and be loved is frustrated or violated. A milder experience, but nonetheless still upsetting, is when are […]

Time to think…about now not later

“Don’t behave as if you are destined to live forever. What’s fated hangs over you. As long as you live, and while you can, become good now.”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Tomorrow never comes. You never really know what’s going to happen next. So much is not in your control. Live for now. Photo by Greg Rakozy […]

Time to think…about being glad to be alive

“Keep death and exile before your eyes each day, along with everything that seems terrible – by doing so, you’ll never have a base thought nor will you have excessive desire.” Epictetus, Enchiridion. These days it’s difficult to keep images of death and exile away from our eyes, so I’ve chosen an unrelated image of […]

Success in Mind: Losing Your Self-Control

Losing Your Self-Control “The world is so unpredictable. Things happen suddenly, unexpectedly. We want to feel we are in control of our own existence. In some ways we are, in some ways we’re not. We are ruled by the forces of chance and coincidence.” Paul Auster In the moment: Do your best to limit the […]

Stress Awareness Week – Day 5 – Use Your Strengths

International Stress Awareness Week – Day 5:Use your strengths! “I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.” Michelle Obama When stressed in the moment: Remind yourself of […]

Stress Awareness Week – Day 4 – Weigh it up

International Stress Awareness Week – Day 4:Weigh it up “We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.” Harrison Ford When stressed in the moment: Stop and ask yourself how do you feel right now. Rate your experience on a scale of 1 to 10. Rather than saying […]

Stress Awareness Week – Day 3 – Let it all out

International Stress Awareness Week – Day 3: Let it all out! “Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” Kurt Vonnegut When stressed in the moment: Don’t dwell on your emotions and stew in your own juices: act on […]

Stress Awareness Week – Day 2 – Be aware!

International Stress Awareness Week – Day 2:Be aware! “One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do […]

Stress Awareness Week – Day 1 – Breathe!

International Stress Awareness Week Day 1 – Breathe! “Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body.” Thich Nhat Hanh When stressed in the moment: Take a deep breath in through your nose – deep enough for you to feel both your chest and your abdomen expanding – hold it for the count […]

Time to think…about shaping the life you have

“Philosophy does not claim to get a person any external possession. To do so would be beyond its field. As wood is to the carpenter, bronze to the sculptor, so our own lives are the proper material in the art of living.” Epictetus, Discourses. Learn to live with what you have, in the here-and-now. Recognise […]

Time to think…about the reasons why things happen

“The person who follows reason in all things will have both leisure and a readiness to act. They are at once both cheerful and self-composed.”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Most of what happens in life is not in our control. Some call it luck – good luck, bad luck – and both are accompanied by appropriate emotions: […]

Time to think…about what’s done is done.

“Don’t lament this and don’t get agitated.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Save your energy for living in the present. Don’t allow emotions about things that have already happened to get the better of you: endless rumination about ‘if only’ will make those emotions resurface and feel almost as powerful as when they first occurred. In a […]

Time to think…about surprises

“Fortune falls heavily on those for whom she’s unexpected. The one always on the lookout easily endures.” Seneca, On Consolation to Helvia. I’m an unashamed attentive optimist: I gain energy from thinking about the positive outcome I want to achieve, and I believe I have a fair chance of achieving it, but at the same […]