Some things are in my control …

Epictetus

Epictetus

“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 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.”
― Epictetus, Enchiridion and Selections from the Discourses

I thought it would be worthwhile to look more closely at what things are, and are not, in my control.

Things in my controlThings not in my control
Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Such as:
My perspective and opinions
How I treat other people
How I respond to how other people treat me
What hobbies and interests I choose to pursue
How much exercise I do
What I eat and drink
How I wear my hair, makeup, and clothes
How I spend and/or invest my savings and my time
What I study, read, watch or listen to
What I choose to do in my garden
How generous or not I am with my possessions and time
Who I choose to spend my time with  
What values I have
Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions.
Such as:
Getting older
Other people and their opinions of me
Whether other people agree with me or not
Whether other people listen to me or not
Whether other people understand me or not
Actions by other people
The weather
My genetic code
The stock markets
Other peoples’ actions
Death and illness
Disasters such as pandemics, bush fires, floods etc.
Wars  
The past and the future

One thought on “Some things are in my control …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s