Time to think…about healthy avoidance

“When your sparring partner scratches or head-butts you, you don’t then make a show of it, or protest, or view him with suspicion or as plotting against you. And yet you keep an eye on him, not as an enemy or with suspicion, but with a healthy avoidance. You should act this way with all… Continue reading Time to think…about healthy avoidance

Time to think…about being willing to see your errors

“If anyone can prove and show to me that I think and act in error, I will gladly change it…for I seek the truth by which no-one has ever been harmed. The one who is harmed is the one who abides in deceit and ignorance.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. If you can accept that you are imperfect,… Continue reading Time to think…about being willing to see your errors

Time to think…about your attention sliding

“When you let your attention slide for a bit, don’t think you will get back a grip on it whenever you wish. Bear in mind that because of today’s mistake everything that follows will be necessarily worse. Is it possible to be free from error? Not by any means, but it is possible to be… Continue reading Time to think…about your attention sliding

Time to think…about 3 questions

“Epictetus says we must discover the missing art of assent and pay special attention to the sphere of our impulses – that they are subject to reservation, to the common good, and that they are in proportion to actual worth.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. To my mind, the second most important lesson from the Stoics, after differentiating… Continue reading Time to think…about 3 questions

Time to think…about opinion

“What is bad luck? Opinion. What are conflict, dispute, blame, accusation, irreverence and frivolity? Opinions. They lie outside our own reasoned choice, presented as if they were good or evil. Let a person shift their opinions only to what belongs in the field of their own choice, and I guarantee that person will have peace… Continue reading Time to think…about opinion

Time to think…about harm and opinion

“Do away with the opinion ‘I am harmed’, and the harm is cast away too. Do away with being harmed, and harm disappears.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones…’ What is considered to be a harmful remark or comment is up to you. Even if someone does offer you insult or offence… Continue reading Time to think…about harm and opinion

Time to think…about swings and roundabouts

“Nothing will ever befall me that I will receive with gloom or a bad disposition. All the things which cause complaint or dread are like the taxes of life – things from which you should never hope for exemption or seek escape.” Seneca, Moral Letters. There is almost always a positive aspect to every negative situation… Continue reading Time to think…about swings and roundabouts

Time to think…about your balance sheet

“Believe me, it’s better to produce the balance sheet of your own life than that of the grain market.” Seneca, On the Brevity of Life. During the period of lockdown, our concept of time seemed paradoxical. On the one hand, whiling away the days at home, hoping for a sign that things might return to ‘normal’… Continue reading Time to think…about your balance sheet

Time to think…about over-indulgence

“Don’t act grudgingly, selfishly, without due diligence or be a contrarian. Don’t dress up your thought in fine language. Don’t be a person of too many words and too many deeds. Be cheerful, not wanting outside help or the relief that others might bring. A person needs to stand on their own and not be… Continue reading Time to think…about over-indulgence

Time to think…about your conceited opinions

“Throw out your conceited opinions. It is impossible for a person to begin to learn what he thinks he already knows.” Epictetus, Discourses. Having an entirely open mind – one that is not partially occupied already by beliefs and expectations – is probably impossible to achieve. Being ‘aware’ of our own existence is one example of… Continue reading Time to think…about your conceited opinions

Time to think…about your disturbing judgements

“It isn’t events themselves that disturb people, but only their judgements about them.” Epictetus, Discourses. Whether you love something or hate it, the choice is yours. Ask yourself why it is you have these opinions. What purpose does it serve? Your answers will be neither right nor wrong, but most likely clearer than if you don’t… Continue reading Time to think…about your disturbing judgements

Time to think…about testing your own values

“When it comes to money, where we feel our clear interest, we have an entire art where the tester uses many means to discover the worth…just as we give great attention to judging things that steer us badly. But when it comes to our ruling principle, we yawn and doze off, accepting any appearance that… Continue reading Time to think…about testing your own values

Time to think…about getting it wrong

“There are two things that must be rooted out in human beings – arrogant opinion and mistrust. Arrogant opinion expects that there is nothing further needed, and mistrust assumes that under the torrent of circumstance there can be no happiness.” Epictetus, Discourses. What lies behind the closed door? What lies behind the number on that door?… Continue reading Time to think…about getting it wrong

Time to think…about preparing for negativity

“When you first rise in the morning, tell yourself: I will encounter busybodies, ingrates, egomaniacs, liars, the jealous and cranks. They are all stricken with these afflictions because they don’t know the difference between good and evil. Because I have understood the beauty of good and the ugliness of evil, I know that these wrong-doers… Continue reading Time to think…about preparing for negativity

Time to think…about first impressions

“First off, don’t let the force of the impression carry you away. Say to it, ‘hold up a bit and let me see who you are and where you are from – let me put you to the test’…” Epictetus, Discourses. Learn to take a step back before acting on your first impressions. Your brain is… Continue reading Time to think…about first impressions

Time to think…about deception

“Circumstances are what deceive us – you must be discerning in them. We embrace evil before good. We desire the opposite of what we once desired. Our prayers are at war with our prayers, our plans with our plans.” Seneca, Moral Letters. We experience contradictions in ourselves when we are not certain or clear about our… Continue reading Time to think…about deception

Time to think…about a principled fight

“Drama, combat, terror, numbness and subservience – every day these things wipe out your sacred principles, whenever your mind entertains them uncritically or lets them slip in.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. How quickly your core principles and values – your purpose or raison d’être – come to you when in the heat of the moment will determine… Continue reading Time to think…about a principled fight

Time to think…about the shape of your thoughts

“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is coloured by such impressions.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. You might call this ‘mindset’ – a habitual or predisposed way of seeing the world: making judgements about people and things without taking the time to question why it is you… Continue reading Time to think…about the shape of your thoughts

Time to think…about control, influence, acceptance

“Chasing what can’t be done is madness. But the base person is unable to do anything else.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Knowing where and when to expend your energy and effort – physically, psychologically and emotionally – is something you can learn with training. Understanding what is in your control is essential. Accepting that something is not… Continue reading Time to think…about control, influence, acceptance

Time to think…about seeing things from all sides

“Hurry to your own ruling reason, to the reason of the Whole, and to your neighbour’s. To your own mind to make it just; to the mind of the Whole to remember your place in it; and to your neighbour’s mind to learn whether it’s ignorant or of sound knowledge – while recognising it’s like… Continue reading Time to think…about seeing things from all sides