Time to think…about indifference

“Of all the things that are, some are good, others bad, and yet others indifferent. The good are virtues and all that share in them; the bad are vices and all that indulge in them; the indifferent lie in between virtue and vice and include wealth, health, death, pleasure, and pain.” Epictetus, Discourses. We make… Continue reading Time to think…about indifference

Time to think…about the temporariness of things

“Keep a list before your mind of those who burned with anger and resentment about something, of even the most renowned for success, misfortune, evil deeds, or any special distinction. Then ask yourself, how did that work out? Smoke and dust, the stuff of simple myth trying to be legend.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Everything will… Continue reading Time to think…about the temporariness of things

Time to think…about harmful opinions

“Keep in mind that it isn’t the one who has it in for you and takes a swipe that harms you, but rather the harm comes from your own belief about the abuse. So when someone arouses your anger, know that it’s really your own opinion fuelling it. Instead, make it your first response not… Continue reading Time to think…about harmful opinions

Time to think…about circumstances

“You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Emotions exist to prompt us to take action to safeguard our needs and wants. We can be moved to avoid a situation in which we might lose the things we need, by either running away from it… Continue reading Time to think…about circumstances

Time to think…about control over our desires

“Remember that it’s not only the desire for wealth and position that debases and subjugates us, but also the desire for peace, leisure, travel and learning. It doesn’t matter what the external thing is, the value we place on it subjugates us to another…where our heart is set, there our impediment lies.” Epictetus, Discourses. When… Continue reading Time to think…about control over our desires

Time to think…about measured responses

“Remember to conduct yourself in life as if at a banquet. As something being passed around comes to you, reach out your hand and take a moderate helping. Does it pass you by? Don’t stop it. It hasn’t yet come? Don’t burn in desire for it, but wait until it arrives in front of you.… Continue reading Time to think…about measured responses

Time to think…about being prepared

“This is the true athlete – the person in rigorous training against false impressions. Remain firm, you who suffer, don’t be kidnapped by your impressions! The struggle is great, the task divine – to gain mastery, freedom, happiness, and tranquility.” Epictetus, Discourses. Many writers on mindfulness meditation speak about training the mind in the same… Continue reading Time to think…about being prepared

Time to think…about conditional happiness

“It is quite impossible to unite happiness with a yearning for what we don’t have. Happiness has all that it wants, and resembling the well-fed, there shouldn’t be hunger or thirst.” Epictetus, Discourses. Deciding to ‘be happy’ only when something that you desire comes to fruition is to delay happiness in the here-and-now. Yearning for… Continue reading Time to think…about conditional happiness

Time to think…about objectivity

“If someone asks you how to write your name, would you bark out each letter? And if they get angry, would you then return the anger? Wouldn’t you rather gently spell out each letter for them? So then, remember in life that your duties are the sum of individual acts. Pay attention to each of… Continue reading Time to think…about objectivity

Time to think…about reality

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“Clear from your mind and get a hold on yourself and, as when awakened from sleep and realising it was only a bad dream upsetting you, wake up and see that what’s there is just like those dreams.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Unless we learn the discipline of being critical of our own perceptions, instead of… Continue reading Time to think…about reality

Time to think…about thinking first

“For to be wise is only one thing – to fix our attention on our intelligence, which guides all things everywhere.” Heraclitus. It’s usually the case, when we do something that we later regret, that we are quick to beat ourselves up, labelling ourselves as ‘stupid’, ‘an idiot’ or condemning ourselves to eternal gloom by… Continue reading Time to think…about thinking first

Time to think…about pleasure

“Whenever you get an impression of some pleasure, as with any impression, guard yourself from being carried away by it, let it await your action, give yourself a pause. After that, bring to mind both times, first when you have enjoyed the pleasure and later when you will regret it and hate yourself. Then compare… Continue reading Time to think…about pleasure

Time to think…about perceptions

“Keep constant guard over your perceptions, for it is no small thing you are protecting, but your respect, trustworthiness and steadiness, peace of mind, freedom from pain and fear, in a word your freedom. For what would you sell these things?” Epictetus, Discourses. What happens when we don’t take the time to stop and think… Continue reading Time to think…about perceptions

Time to think…about boundaries

“Our soul is sometimes a king, and sometimes a tyrant. A king, by attending to what is honourable, protects the good health of the body in its care, and gives it no base or sordid command. But an uncontrolled, desire-fuelled, over-indulged soul is turned from a king into that most feared and detested thing –… Continue reading Time to think…about boundaries

Time to think…about anger

“There is no more stupefying thing than anger, nothing more bent on its own strength. If successful, none more arrogant, if foiled, none more insane – since it’s not driven back by weariness even in defeat, when fortune removes its adversary it turns its teeth on itself.” Seneca, On Anger. The emotion we call anger… Continue reading Time to think…about anger

Time to think…about opinions

“We have the power to hold no opinion about a thing and to not let it upset our state of mind – for things have no natural power to shape our judgements.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. You choose what you make something mean to you. Evaluating something as largely positive or largely negative is down to… Continue reading Time to think…about opinions

Time to think…about fear

“Many are harmed by fear itself, and many may have come to their fate while dreading fate.”  Seneca, Oedipus. When you spend time fixated on the source of your fears, it’s easy to miss or not notice everything else around that is not threatening or to be feared. You lose perspective and with that the… Continue reading Time to think…about fear

Time to think…about your impulses

“Don’t be bounced around, but submit every impulse to the claims of justice, and protect your clear conviction in every appearance.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Life can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster with its ups and downs, its sudden twists and turns making you feel scared, sick and exhilarated. Unless managed, these impulses can make life… Continue reading Time to think…about your impulses

Time to think…about invincibility

“Who then is invincible? The one who cannot be upset by anything outside their reasoned choice.” Epictetus, Discourses. Reacting emotionally to challenges, slurs and attacks only makes situations worse. The power to choose what you value in life (what you like and what you dislike) is entirely in your control. If you have spent a… Continue reading Time to think…about invincibility

Time to think…about anxious thoughts

“When I see an anxious person, I ask myself, what do they want? For if a person wasn’t wanting something outside of their own control, why would they be stricken by anxiety?” Epictetus, Discourses. If you find yourself waking in the middle of the night, unable to get back to sleep, try asking yourself what… Continue reading Time to think…about anxious thoughts