There are more things … likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality. Accordingly, some things torment us more than they ought; some torment us before they ought; and some torment us when they ought not to torment us at all. We are in the habit of exaggerating, or imagining, or anticipating, sorrow. – Seneca
The mind I’ve learned through trial and error, as well as study, is incredibly powerful. It can literally convince you into a corner to die if you let it. On the other side, it can give you the strength you need to make it through too.
We spend swaths of time and our day worrying about the potential hazards of things that aren’t even going to happen. We think simply in terms of gains and losses through worrying to much. I’ve fond it’s kind of impossible to tell wether anything that happens is good or bad. A bad thing can do a lot of good in what it teaches you if you let it. A good thing, to much of, can blind you and make you less resilient.
The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is. – Kurt Vonnegut
The are a few things instead of worrying we need to really get into focus. Our thoughts can better serve our work to be more resilient in how we choose to live with the present moment, discover what makes us who we are, the differences between physical things like money and wealth, the fine art of timing, and how to develop meaning out of the meaningless.
More simply, if we could put the same amount of energy we do into worrying into learning that not everything is about gains or losses we would find ourselves more liberated to be creative. Things would roll off our back more. We’d achieve more resilience to petty things that disable us from doing the best work of our lives. I think we would learn how easy it can be to live well and live fully.
Seneca shares a lot in his learnings that grief or worry should be fully experienced rather than immediately treated as a problem. That we can learn from it to become more resilient. You need your first run at it to create the vaccine that you can build a inoculation. Then use that inoculate to prevent it from happening again. Our problem? We don’t take the time to learn from it, we try to solve and move on to quickly. This goes back to my original point above to learn how to live in the present moment and develop meaning out of the meaningless. We cannot take anything for granted. Even our worst experiences.
We tend to in this age of technology and immediate gratification new reasons for busyness. We teach ourselves to live to wide versus long. We need to bring ourselves back to the importance of building character, fortitude, and self-control.
Everlasting misfortune does have one blessing, that it ends up by toughening those whom it constantly afflicts. All your sorrows have been wasted on you if you have not yet learned how to be wretched. – Seneca
I’ve enjoyed the last couple of weeks focused on resilience. I hope you have as well with me. The back half of this month will be focused on happiness. I believe happiness is just the inoculation we need. Happiness is there, we just have to not let it get buried or be ruled by everything else.
Thanks for reading and sticking with me.