The Daily Stoic for September 8th, “Do Not Be Deceived By Fortune”.
“No one is crushed by Fortune, unless they are first deceived by her . . . those who aren’t pompous in good times, don’t have their bubbles burst with change. Against either circumstance, the stable person keeps their rational soul invincible, for it’s precisely in the good times they prove their strength against adversity.”
—SENECA, ON CONSOLATION TO HELVIA, 5.4b, 5b–6
My grandfather used to say: “the best lottery is hard work, my son“. So I have never played the lottery on my own. In Spain, it’s usual that workmates will share a lottery ticket (or more) for special events like Christmas or Eastern. I shared some of these lottery tickets now and then but eventually stopped doing it.
I had a feeling that behind this social play was the secret fear of missing out and finding that your colleagues had won the lottery and you still would need to go to work alone while they were enjoying life at the Bahamas. Pretty stupid though. But that’s how that works.
Do Not Be Deceived By Fortune
Hence, I don’t believe in fortune, good or bad. While I’ve never had “good fortune” in economic aspects, I consider myself lucky.
More than lucky, I would say I’m privileged. I am alive and have the freedom to work on my own business and travel the world with the person I love. After leaving the hospital just some days ago, and still recovering at home, I would say that is more than I can take for granted. You never know what’s gonna happen tomorrow.
So for me, the best way of being a lucky guy is building my own fortune by working hard and trying to enjoy every little moment. Yes, things can go wrong, you can have bad luck, everything can go to hell, but as long as you work hard and make sure every minute counts, it doesn’t matter.
And I think that’s something stoicism stresses a lot. Things can go wrong out there. You never know what’s going to happen. So it’s better if you do the right choices and make sure to enjoy your life and work hard for the things you love.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Do Not Be Deceived By Fortune”, discusses how philosophy and stoicism can help you avoid the trap of thinking that it’s fortune, luck or fate that rules our lives.