One of the major tenets of stoicism is that we should not worry about what we cannot control.

Epictetus was a Greek philosopher, who wrote extensively about stoicism.

In the first pages of his book , Epictetus writes:

“Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.

The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed.”

[1750 translation by Elizabeth Carter]

Epictetus, The Enchiridion

How often do we stress ourselves out over things that are simply outside of our control?

[Image by Dexmac from Pixabay]

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