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 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 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 […]

Time to think…about living in the present

“A good isn’t created by the addition of time, but if one is wise even for a moment, they will be no less happy than the person who exercises virtue for all time and happily passes their life in it.” Chrysippus In the words of the fab Sheffield band ABC, “Why make the past your […]

Time to think…about keeping moving on

https://facevaluepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Stepping-Stones-Porterbrook.mov “Meditate often on the swiftness with which all that exists and is coming into being is swept by us and carried away. For substance is like a river’s unending flow, its activities continually changing and causes infinitely shifting so that almost nothing at all stands still.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. It is important to take […]

Time to think…about feeding your fears

“Hecato says cease to hope and you will cease to fear. The primary cause of both these ills is that instead of adapting ourselves to present circumstances, we send out thoughts too far.” Seneca, Moral Letters. When surrounded by bad news of trauma and strife, it’s easy to understand how and why we indulge in […]

Time to think…about the power of your opinions

“When you are distressed by an external thing, it’s not the thing itself that troubles you, but only your judgement of it. And you can wipe this out at a moment’s notice.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. There are plenty of things in life that are unpleasant and that we wish would not happen. The loss of […]

Time to think…about it is what it is

“Remember that you are an actor in a play, playing a character according to the will of the playwright – if a short play, then it’s short; if long, long. If he wishes you to play the beggar, play even that role well.” Epictetus, Enchiridion. Do the best you can with what you have in […]

Time to think…about the strength you have

“Don’t trust in your reputation, money or position, but in the strength that is yours – namely, your judgements about the things that you control and don’t control. For this alone is what makes us free and unfettered, that picks us up by the neck from the depths and lifts us eye to eye with […]

Time to think…about the ups and downs of life

“If the breaking day sees someone proud, the ending day sees them brought low. No-one should put too much trust in triumph, no-one should give up hope of trials improving.” Seneca, Thyestes. Be grateful for what you have and what you can control, and be accepting of the rest. After all, it is what it […]

Time to think…about the constant that is change

“There is no evil in things changing, just as there is no good in persisting in a new state.” Marcus Aurelius. Take the time each day to stop and have a look around you. What you have done, where you have been, where you got to, how you have changed. You cannot step into the […]

Time to think…about your future

“Don’t seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will – then your life will flow well.” Epictetus, Enchiridion. It is a part of the human condition to spend time trying to predict our future, or dwelling on the past in the hope that […]

Time to think…about what shapes your character

“Each person acquires their own character, but their official roles are designated by chance. You should invite some to your table because they are deserving, others because they may come to deserve it.” Seneca, Moral Letters. Whatever hand life has dealt you, the power to choose your attitude about it remains all yours. Viktor Frankl, […]

Time to think…about what goes around

“Crimes often return to their teacher.” Seneca, Thyestes. What goes around, comes around. Do unto others as you would have done onto yourself. Watch what you do doesn’t come back to bite you (usually on your behind!). If you are frustrated by the poor behaviour of others, how often do you feel justified in responding […]

Time to think…about your defining characteristics

“People aren’t in awe of your sharp mind? So be it. But you have many other qualities you can’t claim to have been deprived of at birth. Display then those qualities in your own power: honesty, dignity, endurance, chastity, contentment, frugality, kindness, freedom, persistence, avoiding gossip, and magnanimity.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. “Some are born great, […]

Time to think…about trying to be well-rounded every day

“So someone’s good at taking down an opponent, but that doesn’t make them more community-minded, or modest, or well-prepared for any circumstance, or more tolerant of the faults of others.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Being a champion at one thing doesn’t make us brilliant at everything else. We are all winners and losers – more-or-less – […]

Time to think…about living for today and not tomorrow

“Such behaviour! People don’t want to praise their contemporaries whose lives they actually share, but hold great expectations for the praise of future generations – people they haven’t met or ever will! This is akin to being upset that past generations didn’t praise you.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Keeping a daily gratitude diary – writing down […]

Time to think…about turning away from tempting little habits

“Since habit is such a powerful influence, and we’re used to pursuing our impulses to gain and avoid outside our own choice, we should set a contrary habit against that, and where appearances are really slippery, use the counterforce of our training.” Epictetus, Discourses. The emphasis needed here is on the word ‘training’. Successful impulse […]