Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher from two thousand years ago. I read some of his quotes recently and they really moved me. He wrote…
“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.”
“Anyone capable of angering you becomes your master; he can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed.”
“It is a fact of life that other people, even people who love you, will not necessarily agree with your ideas, understand you, or share your enthusiasms.”
“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, ‘He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.'”
“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”
“Who is rich? He who is content.”
“Small-minded people blame others. Average people blame themselves. The wise see all blame as foolishness.”
So many golden nuggets here. The struggle is where the growth comes from. Perspective is everything. What other people think of you is irrelevant. There is always something more to learn. If you are content, there is nothing more you need. Blame gets us nowhere.
Can we embrace a few of these messages from thousands of years ago? How might they change our outlook today?