132 – Anything Can Happen

“How ridiculous and unrealistic is the man who is astonished at anything that happens in life.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Book 12 Show Notes: – How often do we think that something in life shouldn’t happen to us? – As if we are somehow immune to the things that happen to anyone else in life. – How often do we think that we are owed something? – As if we are somehow privileged above others, that we deserve something – We may think it’s unfair when something we worked hard for fails to materialize. – We may think it’s unfair that someone we love gets cancer, that they didn’t deserve it. – We may think we deserve a perfect partner because go to the gym workout and wear nice clothes. – The world is full of all kinds of stories about people getting hit with the unexpected and didn’t get what they wanted. – Who determines what is fair and unfair? – So much in our lives that is simply up to chance, where we have no control over it. – We never deserve anything. – Now this doesn’t mean that all is lost. – Let go of trying to control the things that we can’t control, and focus on what we can. – We cannot control the circumstances that happen to us. – We cannot control the outcome. – What we can control is how we respond to the things that happen to us. – If we are diagnosed with an serious illness, we can’t control that it happened to us. – We can’t control whether we’ll recover from it. – If we follow the prescriptions of our doctor, we increase our probability of a positive outcome. – We may not get the job we think we deserve. But we can increase the probability that we’ll get a good job if we put the work in. – We can also choose our attitude towards towards our situation. We can be angry, we can be sad, we can react in many different ways. – We’re going to have deal with it anyway, so if we can approach it in the most helpful way we can, we reduce our overall suffering. – I think that most suffering in the world happens when we try to control the things that we can’t and fail to control what we can. – Life is full of surprises, but it shouldn’t be.
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