The Daily Stoic for October 25th, “Two Tasks”.

“What, then, makes a person free from hindrance and self-determining? For wealth doesn’t, neither does high-office, state or kingdom—rather, something else must be found . . . in the case of living, it is the knowledge of how to live.”

—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 4.1.62–64

Very interesting meditation today. It states that we have two essential tasks in life: “to be a good person, and to pursue the occupation that you love”.

And how to do it? Getting rid of distractions. 

Two Tasks

Curiously enough, some days ago there was this question on a blogger’s Facebook group I’m part of about blogger struggles. One of the most repeated ones mentioned was time.

Then, I suggested that if someone mentions time, it’s because they are spending time in things that are unimportant instead of blogging, or that they are not really passionate about blogging.

That obviously was received with quite some aggressive responses. And I completely understand the mindset behind them, because I’ve been there. I’ve been working in a cubicle, feeling how time was slipping through my fingers

I was jealous of those doing what they loved. “Lucky bastards”. Then I realized the problem was me, not them. They made the right decisions, while I was just there, blaming others for how miserable my life was.

Using The Time We Have Wisely

But even when I was a cubicle rat, even when I worked nights and weekends as a freelance developer, I kept on writing on my blog. Because I loved it. That meant I had to re-think lots of things. I got rid of social media. I got rid of notifications on my phone. I got rid of other distractions in my life, and I focused on what mattered to me. I got the most of my time.

I still do. And that means making sacrifices and making decisions. Even when I worked 65-70 hours a week as a freelance developer, I would wake up at 6 am some days to be able to go to the gym and write on the blog before going to work… Everything is a matter of priorities.

So if you complain about time, it’s because you are not making the right decisions. We always have time. And if you don’t have 30 minutes a day for blogging, or writing, or painting, or coding, or anything else that makes you feel alive… Perhaps, you should reconsider your life. We don’t live just for our responsibilities, our job, our children and our chores.

Stop complaining. Stop blaming others. It’s not going to help you or take you anywhere. Instead, be bold, and start making different decisions.

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “Two Tasks”, contains some awesome advice. I think it can be summarized by “we have two essential tasks in life: to be a good person and to pursue the occupation we love. Everything else is a distraction“.

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