Stoic day 5 Friday emotion

Morning Text for Reflection

It isn’t the things themselves that disturb people, but the judgements that they form about them. Death, for instance, is nothing terrible, or else it would have seemed so to Socrates too; no, it is in the judgement that death is terrible that the terror lies.

Accordingly, whenever we are impeded, disturbed or distressed, we should never blame anyone else but only ourselves, that is, our judgements.

It is an act of a poorly educated person to blame others when things are going badly for him; one who has taken the first step towards being properly educated blames himself, while one who is fully educated blames neither anyone else nor himself. – Epictetus, Handbook, 5

Read the morning text and bear that in mind in your morning meditation. Think about how you can respond to events more reflectively and more in line with your most profound judgements about what really matters in life.

My thoughts: blaming anyone is not a solution to issues. In my work, there is a simple outstanding issue. For months, the owner is not working to resolve the issue but it lingers on. A lot of stakeholders are impacted unknown to the owner. After attempting to provide an agreeable solution, the issue still didn’t resolve for another four months. The only thing you can do is to escalate the issue to the manager to solve. If everything fails, they have to settle the cost. Always assume everyone is working to solve the problem and everyone has good intention.

Take 5-10 minutes and sit quietly, thinking of occasions in the recent past when you reacted in a ‘passionate’ way (attaching value to things like fame and prosperity), and also on occasions when you reacted with a ‘good emotion’, remembering that what matters most is acting virtuously.

I never learn to differentiate emotions till now

  1. Passion : Misguided or bad emotions

such as fear and anger

Happiness based on securing fame and wealth

2. Good emotions : joy, cautions wish

Happiness based on virtues

You behave calmer, more stable and consistent in feelings

Evening Text for Reflection

So reflect on this: the result of wisdom is stability of joy. The wise person’s mind is like the superlunary heaven: always peaceful. So you have this reason to want to be wise, if wisdom is always accompanied by joy. This joy has only one source: an awareness of the virtues. A person is not capable of joy unless he is brave, unless he is just, unless he has self-control. – Seneca, Letters, 59.16

Read today’s evening text and use that to guide your evening meditation. Did your emotions today express an attempt to respond virtuously and what could you do to make this happen tomorrow and to experience the ‘joy’ that Seneca describes?

I had a situation where I expected someone to be supportive but instead, it didn’t come true. So I told this to one thing to my close Friend and he said that by lowering your expectation, you wouldn’t feel angry.

Sometimes you expect our children to score more than 90 for the examination or your spouse to invite you for a movie. If that didn’t come true you may feel sad. What if they didn’t know your expectations?

To end up not feeling miserable over what the others have done or not done, don’t set lots of expectation. If you wish the person do something for you, verbally tell one what’s your expectation for them.

Highligted source modern stoic


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