6: You can’t control the situation, but you can control what you think about it - Stoic Serenity
I’m part of a theater group. We’ve been working together for 23 weeks now. Currently, we’re in the final stages of finishing our play. Deadline is at the end of January.
Since I’ve taken on the role of a project manager, I work with my co-organizer Carl to ensure that we make progress.
Unfortunately, some challenges stand in the way of our project progress. On the one hand, there’s a lack of initiative by some participants. On the other hand, I experienced stubborn behavior with a fairly large portion of ego.
I would be lying if I said that it leaves me cold. It doesn’t. But there is not much I can do about it when people behave as they do. I cannot influence that. I can only try to lead and communicate as a good, proactive example. That’s all.
The Stoics also see it that way.
You can control everything that is within yourself or develops out of you. This includes your point of view, your decisions, your desires, and dislikes.
You have a direct influence on what you think, which path you take, what you want to achieve and what you despise.
You have no influence on external factors like your body. Someone can attack your body and hurt you. And you’d have to swallow that. But it’s up to you how you judge this attack. You also do not control your property, your reputation or your position in the group or society.
Ok, this can seem discouraging for you now.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Because it is always up to you to decide what you think about these things or events. I can’t change that a participant in my theater group pretends to be a whiner with negative vibes. But I influence my attitude and how I deal with this behavior. His behavior is neither good nor bad. It is.
So before you want to reach out to exert influence, first look inside. Use the power and leeway that your mind and the power of your interpretation offer.
The outside world, other people, lack of happiness and karma may annoy you. But you can also see them as challenges to test the power of your mind.
The beauty of philosophy is that’s it’s close to everyday life. You can apply your learnings immediately.
So, do you accept the challenge? Then start now.
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