Daily Touch of Inspirations

February 27th: Cultivating indifference where other grow passion

Ryan Holiday, The 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

Of all the things that are, some are good, others bad, and yet others indifferent. The good are virtues and all that share in them; the bad are the vices and all that indulge them; the indifferent lie in between virtue and vice and include wealth, health, life, death, pleasure and pain. — Epictetus, Discourses, 2.19.12b-13

Imagine the power you'd have in your life and relationships if all the things that trouble everyone else- how thin they are, how much money they have, how long they have left to live, how they will die- didn't matter so much. What if where others were upset, envious, were objective, calm and clearheaded? Can you envision that? Imagine what it would do for your relationships at work, or for your love life, or your friendships.

Seneca was an incredibly wealthy, even famous man- yet he was a Stoic. He had many material things, yet, as the Stoics say, he was also indifferent to them. He enjoyed them while they were there, but he accepted that they might someday disappear. What a better attitude than desperately craving more or fearfully dreading losing even one penny. Indifference is solid middle ground.

It's not about avoidance or shunning, but rather not giving any possible outcome more power or preference than is appropriate. This not easy to do, certainly, but if you could manage, how much more relaxed would you be?

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The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom Perseverance and Art of Living

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