The Daily Stoic for February 12nd. “Protect your peace of mind”:
“Keep constant guard over your perceptions, for it is no small thing you are protecting, but your respect, trustworthiness and steadiness, peace of mind, freedom from pain and fear, in a word your freedom. For what would you sell these things?”
—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 4.3.6b–8
Most of us go through stressful situations in our lives. For this reason, it’s important to have tools to be able to cope with them.
Stoicism is one of those tools for me, the last one I have discovered. It’s not the only one. Meditation and exercise are essential weapons of my anti-stress arsenal.
Yours might be different, of course. Reading, philosophy, a moment of peace at your favorite cafe, running…
Know When Enough Is Enough
However, if we need to resort to them too often, that’s a clear indication that something wrong’s going on.
When that happens, we need to stop for a moment to evaluate our life. Ask ourselves some questions, like if we are happy at our job or comfortable with the people we share our lives with.
Playing my piano, going to the gym or running were some of my escapes back then. Nevertheless, it got to a point where I ran out of things to turn to in order to escape my unhappiness. I knew I had to change something in my life. And I did.
Protect Your Peace Of Mind
Every little concern or nervous wreck, every time we get upset or, suffer a stress episode, steals some time from us. We can endure this only so much before we get depleted of life.
We need to protect our peace of mind, and do it by making conscious decisions that will make us happier and take us through a path that brings serenity to our lives.
Probably those paths are not hassle or stress free. For example, when I quit my job to become a freelancer years ago, I had to work a lot harder during the first years. In the end, however, it was worth all that effort.
So even if you have your tools in place, ask yourself how long you are willing to resort to them as a lifeboat. We only live once.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Protect your peace of mind”, invites us to evaluate our lives. Even if we have tools in place to fight agains stress, anger, or depression, resorting to them on a daily basis might indicate that we need to change something.
Don’t hesitate to live the life you want. Routine, comfort and convenience are the worst enemies you’ll find to live a fulfilling life. A real life.