The Daily Stoic for August 9th. “Stick With Just The Facts”.
“Don’t tell yourself anything more than what the initial impressions report. It’s been reported to you that someone is speaking badly about you. This is the report—the report wasn’t that you’ve been harmed. I see that my son is sick—but not that his life is at risk. So always stay within your first impressions, and don’t add to them in your head—this way nothing can happen to you.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.49
I tend to overanalyze things. I do. It’s a survival mechanism for me that I have perfected during my brotherhood. It has allowed me to avoid lots of awkward situations by planning in advance.
However, it has a dark side. In my case, I am always worrying about things that may or may not happen. Instead of enjoying life.
Stick With Just The Facts
Some days ago, the daily stoic meditation reminded us that there’s always more room to maneuver than you think. And it’s true.
One of the most powerful things to call my attention when I visited Thailand was how happy and “present” the locals seemed to be. I met one monk at the temple and, as we both had the same haircut (trrrr tchs!) we started talking and I asked him why people in Thailand seemed so relaxed about the future.
He told me that in Thailand people live in the present, so if there’s something bad that may happen next week, they won’t care until it’s actually time to get worried.
I thought that, even though they live in a dictatorship, in a developing country, with probably not many opportunities to go abroad, they are lucky in a way. They live simple lives. And their culture allows them a peace of mind that others -like me- struggle to find thanks to tools such as meditation or stoicism.
In January I will fly to Chiang Mai to stay there for some months. I am really looking forward to learning more about the culture, that special way of seeing the world, and maybe finding a more relaxed way of looking at things overall.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Stick With Just The Facts”, discusses how we should stop overanalyzing things and, instead, focus on just the facts, avoiding all possible interpretations that may trouble our minds.