Some things are up to us and others are not.Sep 13, 2022
“Some things are up to us and others are not.”
This is what is written on the first page of Epictetus’ work written by Arrian titled, Handbook.
Epictetus was from a school of philosophy known as the Stoics, a group of philosophers with origins tracing back to Zeno, who lived in Athens from 335-263 B.C.
The Stoics ideas were heavily influenced by Socrates, the classical Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy.
Stoics believed the path to happiness for humans was found in accepting life and its events as they presented themselves. They believed that allowing oneself to be controlled by desires or fears and expectations were the pathways directly to unhappiness. Stoics also believed we all had an inherent duty to treat others fairly and justly to support society. Epictetus, Aurelius and the Stoics have had a fundamental influence on many of our beliefs today—from laws and faiths, to the instruction of the world's leaders.
As a slave, Epictetus was faced with the continuous threat of torture or execution. But as author Jules Evans writes in his book, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations: Ancient Philosophy for Modern Problems, Epictetus stayed calm and mentally strong by constantly reminding himself about what was in his control and what was out of his control.
In fact, only for the recent writings and work of people like Ryan Holiday and Jule Evans, we would never have been exposed to the same fundamental truths Epictetus was.
We are constantly presented with the illusion that we have complete control.
You are not in control of anything - except your reaction to the the things you are not in control of!
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