Fear, Haste, And Narrowness Of Mind

Life is about living. It can be easy to feel distracted and disconnected in today’s world. We can become stuck in our own head. We become fixated on narrow ideas or narrow perspectives.

Seneca reminds us in his letter, “On groundless fears,”

“There are more things … likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca

How do you get out of your own head? You must build relationships with good people. You must keep an open mind. You must widen your perspective. The same ideas that ruled thousands of years ago still apply today.

“I think the two things most opposed to good counsel are haste and passion; haste usually goes hand in hand with folly, passion with coarseness and narrowness of mind.” -Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

How many times at work do you rush to judgment? How often have we assumed the worst?

We need each other to become stronger. We need each other to push through obstacles. We need real people helping us solve real problems. We all need more patience, more grit, more grace.

Life is meant to be lived not in isolation but with real people. Life is meant to be experienced. Life is meant to be tough. Life is meant to be rewarding.

Epictetus describes the importance of having a sparring partner. He makes it clear that you cannot get better at boxing without a sparring partner. The quality of your partner and the quality of your training will influence how quickly you progress. You certainly cannot become better at boxing by reading about it. You cannot become better at boxing by watching it. You have to get into the ring with your sparring partner. You have to get hit. You have to land hits of your own. You have to feel it.

But Epictetus quickly helps us to shift our perspective beyond the physical world of training.

“…my accuser is my sparring partner. He trains me in patience, civilly, and even temper.” – Epictetus

We can learn from anyone as a sparring partner. We can learn from anything and anyone at work.

Relationships matter. Think about the relationships you build at home and at work. Think about your life outside. Sometimes the easiest way to change your perspective is to change how you live. Sometimes the easiest way to improve your own habits is to improve the relationships of those in your life. Sometimes it even requires the difficult task of moving on from relationships in your life.

Life can be physically demanding, just like boxing training.

Why not choose your sparring partners wisely?

Why not learn lessons from everyone you encounter?

The Real Con 75

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