Intro 2: Our Thoughts create our Unhappiness

It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them.

In last month’s post we saw how it is hard to retain happiness and how this concept might be even misleading; how trivial things can spoil our life and finally how our own thought process  can help us to get closer to our goals and to a life worth living.

In this post we will continue our conversation and will look at one of the most famous Stoic quote:

“It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them.”

Epictetus

This short sentence is one of the cornerstones of Stoic philosophy, let’s see how:

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Intro 1: How to Create a Life that Flows Smoothly

It is safe to say that you – at least once in your lifetime – have experienced something that you can refer to as happiness. 

How long did it last? Not long, I imagine. Perhaps, you uneventfully transitioned to something that resembled ‘normality’, or worse, other issues came up immediately and spoiled your mood.

Even though happiness didn’t last long, it does not stop you from seeking more of it.

But what kind of happiness are you seeking? The immediate kind? Fuelled by sex drugs and rock and roll? Happiness as a reward for your hard work and sacrifice? Maybe by obtaining an object of desire, such as a new house, job, car or spouse? Or are you just, “kinda-okay” – happy to sit and wait?

The choice seems to be between obtaining happiness now, later, or not seeking it at all. With the first, you will be happy immediately and miserable later, with the second, you will be waiting agonic until your goal materialises, and maybe, in the long run, you will feel happier. With the third, you are not even trying.

These are the options, are you ready?

If you haven’t chosen to give up already, maybe there is a better option. Let’s see what ancient Greece and Rome thought about this topic! 

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