Circumstances / Coffee Break / Fate / stoicism · May 18, 2018

130 – Suffering Before It’s Time

“He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.”

― Seneca

Show Notes:

  • How often have you stressed over something or worried yourself sick, only to have the scenario you were so worried about never happen?
  • When you worry about something, and you let your imagination run with something, then you suffer many times before you even get to the event that might happen.
  • Unless you can know the future, worrying about something is inventing problems that may never happen.
  • And that kind of suffering is something that we can all probably do without.
  • I’ve talked about this topic on the show before, but I think it’s important to go over these principles many times because we always need a reminder.
  • And the Stoics understood that we as humans have wild imaginations and that we can come with all possible things that can go wrong.
  • And while at times this can be useful with the idea of hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, we need to be sure that when we do imagine the worst that we aren’t wed to the outcome.
  • Because it’s worrying too much about the outcome that we want that causes us to suffer.
  • As the Buddhists would say, we’re suffering because of our attachment to something outside of our control.
  • And because the role of chance and randomness on our lives that can influence the outcome to most things, we have little control over the outcome.
  • What we do have control over is ourselves.
  • We have control over our thinking.
  • Our actions.
  • We can focus on making good decisions.
  • We can focus on doing good work.
  • We can focus on the process.
  • We do what we can do, and learn to be okay with whatever happens, knowing that we put effort into the things that we could influence.
  • When we do these things, we let the chips fall where they may, continue on.
  • The next time you find yourself worrying about something, ask yourself, “Am I focusing on the outcome, or am I working on the process?”

Photo by Jaclyn Moy on Unsplash