Time to think…about controlling your vices

“The diseases of the rational soul are long-standing and hardened vices, such as greed and ambition – they have put the soul in a straitjacket and have begun to be permanent evils inside it. To put it briefly, this sickness is an unrelenting distortion of judgement, so things that are only mildly desirable are vigorously sought after.” Seneca, Moral Letters.

 

In these unusual times that we are living through, we will all experience a restriction or withdrawal of the things that we are used to having. Being unable to control this situation, we notice our emotions rise in response to our needs and desires being unfulfilled and unsatisfied. In time, these emotions will subside and what was once ‘unusual’ or ‘abnormal’ becomes the new normal, and we get used to it. And then we wonder what it was we were expecting all along? What needs do we have to satisfy? How rational and ‘sensible’ are they?

 

Having time to stop and think allows you to identify the underlying needs driving your expectations and behaviour. If you can live without them in such magnitude (as if self-isolating from them), what will your ‘new normal’ look like?