“Silence is a lesson learned from the many sufferings of life.”
-Seneca, Thyestes, 309
We have all said things, in hindsight, which we wish we have not said. To the point that it makes you cringe every time you think about it. I get the same way remembering an incident of my time at the capitol office. What Robert Greene has written rings true, “the more you say, the more likely you are to day something foolish.”
This happens to be a law of power, and a good lesson to heed. As Ryan writes, “silence is a way to build strength and self-sufficiency.” It is also psychologically proven that by saying your goals and ambitions to people in the hopes that by telling them you’ll get the motivation to do it, in reality, that actually backfires and you end up NEVER, if hardly ever, doing what you said you were going to do.
Sometimes it is better to just shut the hell up, focus and get to work.
“You must stop blaming God, and not blame any person. You must completely control your desire and shift your avoidance to what lies within your reasoned choice. you must no longer feel anger, resentment, envy, or regret.”
-Epictetus, Discourses, 3.22.13
These past few days have been busy for me due to my girlfriend’s birthday on Friday and continuing into the weekend. But, it didn’t stop me from reflecting on the days reading and really sinking into the philosophy. Stoicism is broken down into three distinct disciplines: perception, action and will. These can be found in most if not all of the main texts of the philosophy. A good explanation is here. The main tenant, as always, knowing what is in your control and what is not.
The 4th day focused on No blame, just focus. Focusing on what is within your control and reasoned choice. “No matter what happens today, no matter where you find yourself, shift to what lies within your reasoned choices.” The essence being, “don’t get emotional-get focused.”