Living and Giving

See the Good in Each Event Life Hands You!

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\’What Upsets People Is Not Things Themselves But Their Judgments About The Things.’ 

– Epictetus, Greek Philosopher

Did something upset you today?  

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Well, we can take a step back and get perspective.

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Did you realize that it is you that judged yourself, judged the event, and made yourself feel bad … The event itself did not tell you anything. It was your thoughts about the event.

Instead, you can take a look at the event.  So let\’s look at the event in a positive way, first!   

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Let\’s say it\’s a corporate annual celebration of employees\’ good work, and you were one of the coordinators!

You coordinated lovely food. People really enjoyed it.

The decorations from the accounting department looked great! 

You had wonderful conversations with old friends.

You made new friends of distant colleagues…

There was a great band to which you danced and you felt so alive.

You stayed late with fun dancing or You had a good time and left early to get in bed. Both are good!

This is a ***great*** event.  

Or…….you can also judge the event. You make yourself feel badly if you look at the event in the wrong way….  Epictetus cautions us on this, telling us it is our thoughts, not the event, that make us feel badly. 

Let\’s take a look at the event in not-so-good-way:  

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The lights weren\’t as strong as they could have been.  Could you have done better? If yes, then encourage yourself to work with the lighting coordinator earlier, the next time.  

 The goodbye gifts were not organized by name.  You could have been more organized.  You can plan more: In the future have it alphabetized.

Could you have been on time?  If yes, you can work on that for many future events. There are a lot of places we have to show up to, in our busy lives. 🙂 

So yes, there are ways to improve. But don\’t judge the event, or yourself so much that you feel bad about the event. There were so many good things to enjoy!  So many good things to appreciate about the event. Don\’t miss it because you stay dredged in all that didn\’t go perfectly. 

‘What Upsets People Is Not Things Themselves But Their Judgments About The Things.’ 

– Epictetus, Greek Philosopher

If Epictetus is right, then we need to change our thinking:                            

Start thinking positively about the event, and what you learned.

Stop judging it, and most importantly, stop judging you!   You are. great person and don\’t deserve to be judged.

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We move forward with a great sense of love and gratitude for all the opportunities ahead.  Today is a new day, with new events. Let\’s look forward to being present and being our best.  There is good in the event, and we hold on to that.  

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See the Good in Each Event Life Hands You!

Pamela


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Epictetus is a Greek philosopher who believed in the philosophical teachings of Stoicism. He was born in 50 A.D at Hierapolis and was a slave to the wealthy Epaphroditus, Emperor Nero’s secretary. In his youth, he developed a passion for philosophy and acquired permission from his owner to study under a great stoic teacher; C. Musonius Rufus. Later in life, he was able to obtain his freedom sometime after the death of Nero in 68 A.D., where he began to teach philosophy in Rome and Greece. He is best known for his works The Enchiridion (the handbook) and his Discourses, both of which are foundational works in Stoic philosophy. They were said to be transcribed and compiled by his pupil Arrian.

His teachings about Stoicism stemmed from the idea that everything around us operates through a web of cause and effect resulting in the rational structure of the universe, known as Logos. To Epictetus, an individual is wholly responsible for his or her interpretations of circumstance and that all of life is natural and normal in spite of one\’s impressions. Rather than imagining an ideal world, one should navigate it by seeing the world for what it is whilst pursuing self-improvement through four cardinal virtues:

  • Practical wisdom: navigating complex situations through logic, and information
  • Courage: to do the right thing in facing daily challenges with clarity and integrity
  • Justice:  treating every human being, regardless of their stature in life with fairness and kindness
  • Temperance: exercising moderation or self-control in all areas of life

Epictetus taught that philosophy is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. He focuses on the responsibility that an individual should live their life as best as they can and insisted that human beings have the freedom of choice in all matters of life even though it may be limited due to the operations of logos. He heavily implies that although life may be subjected to constant change, by accepting responsibility for the way one views the world and how that affects one’s behavior, it frees them from the external circumstances and becomes the master of their own life.

To this day, his teachings have influenced modern Psychological methods known as, Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy. It shows a person to change that self-defeating attitude that people form about their life and harnesses their willpower to fill their life with meaning even in the bleakest situations.

Bio Source: Wikipedia, Daily Stoic; Fig1 Photo by Abigail Keenan at Unsplash; Fig2 Photo by Nikola Majksner at Unsplash; Fig3 Photo by Antenna at Unsplash, Fig4 Photo by Andrea Piacquadio at Pexels, Fig5 Photo by Jack Moreh at Freerangestock