The Daily Stoic for April 27. “Turn it inside out”

“Turn it inside out and see what it is like—what it becomes like when old, sick, or prostituting itself. How short-lived the praiser and praised, the one who remembers and the remembered. Remembered in some corner of these parts, and even there not in the same way by all, or even by one. And the whole earth is but a mere speck.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.21

Today’s stoic meditation asks us to examine things “inside out”. This expression may have two different meanings:

  • inside out as “the other way round” of how we usually see things.
  • inside out as in full detail.

In a way, I think Marcus Aurelius is referring here to both approaches. First, seeing things from a different angle, or from several different angles. Secondly, analyzing things in depth instead of just letting ourselves being swallowed by them.

Turn It Inside Out

I have embarked in a new project with potentially many loose ends. I want to make sure everything works perfectly. As a solopreneur, you can’t do everything yourself, so sooner or later, you need to rely on others. Finding the right people to lean on is proving to be complicated. As a result, every day seems to be a roller coaster of emotions as bad and good news arrive.

Of course, this roller coaster is emotionally exhausting, and some days it’s taking a toll on me.

I am failing to apply the stoic teachings here.

Hence, I need to find a way of seeing things from more angles to avoid falling trap of extreme emotions of excitement and despair, and see things more objectively. There are small triumphs and small obstacles along the way, but in the end, it’s all a matter of putting out your best effort.

As Steve Jobs famously stated:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “Turn it inside out”, discusses how we should temper down extreme excitement or despair in our daily lives by trying to see things inside out. From many different angles. Applying reasoning instead of letting ourselves being washed away by our emotions.

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