Awareness Challenges Coffee Break Control stoicism

133 – A Momentary Loss of Attention

A Momentary Loss of Attention


“Very little is needed for everything to be upset and ruined, only a slight lapse in reason. it’s much easier for a mariner to wreck his ship than it is for him to keep it sailing safely; all he has to do is head a little more upwind and disaster is instantaneous. In fact, he does not have to do anything: a momentary loss of attention will produce the same result. It’s much the same in our case. If you doze off, all your progress up to that point will be negated. To keep a sharp eye on your impressions, and never fall asleep. It is no small thing that is being watched over, it equates”

— Epictetus

Show Notes:

  • As we work to become better humans, we need to remember that it takes constant attention.

  • We need to make sure that we are finding ways to apply these principles consistently in our lives.

  • And it’s not easy. Our natural inclination is to be a bit lazy.

  • We don’t always want to put into practice what we’ve learned because it takes consistent effort.

  • I’ve talked about dealing with anger in my life, and reaching a point where I can deal with things more rationally more consistently.

  • So when I read this quote it really felt applicable.

  • There would be times when I’d go for a decent period of not letting my anger get the best of me, then I’d get a little tired or grumpy or frustrated, and fall right back into the same old behavior.

  • I don’t expect to be perfect, but it felt like I was undoing all the progress I had made.

  • Working on the things that will help us become better people is something that needs our attention all the time.

  • Consistent application of principles, ingrains them into our character

  • Just because we because we’ve done well with integrating good practices in principles isn’t our lives doesn’t mean that we can simply rest on our laurels.

  • I think it’s also a bit like fitness. We don’t just build up some muscle and then we never have to work on it again.

  • Consistency and attention helps strengthen our character, and keeps us sailing smoothly.

  • Even a good captain can sail his ship all the way to shore, only to end up on the rocks from careless inattention.

    Photo by Nathan Pirkle on Unsplash