The Daily Stoic for August 4th, “No Blame, Just Focus”.
“You must stop blaming God, and not blame any person. You must completely control your desire and shift your avoidance to what lies within your reasoned choice. You must no longer feel anger, resentment, envy, or regret.”
—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 3.22.13
Blaming others for our problems. That’s something we all have done one time or another. From school -the teacher hates me!- to our adult life -the boss hates me!-. We blame our boss, our government, our family, the immigrants or any other escape goat we might think of.
In a way, is part of our DNA.
No Blame, Just Focus
Today’s stoic is not new, in a way. We have talked before about it. Actually, after writing those daily stoics, I decided to actively stop blaming others -and not just people, also institutions, events, the weather…- and instead focus on doing something about it.
So what’s the result? I have to admit it’s fairly positive. Now, when something bad happens, instead of looking for an escape goat, I try to focus on solving the problem as fast as possible.
That has a number of advantages. To begin with, it’s harder for these situations to ruin your day. In a way, when you see them as “things that just happen”, not blaming others or even yourself, they lose their emotional baggage.
Additionally, you get to solve them later. When you are furious, angry or under some other stong, distressful emotions, it’s hard to work in a solution. You spend more time and have less energy, because your mind is continuously spinning around the “who”, “whys” and “why me-s”. By just getting rid of the “blame factor”, you can focus on the future -how to solve it- instead of the past -why that happened-.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “No Blame, Just Focus”, discusses again how we should focus on solving our problems instead of blaming others for them. I wanted to offer my view on what happened when I started doing precisely that.