Daily Touch of Inspirations

November 2nd: Binding our wishes to what will be

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

But I haven't at anytime been hindered in my will, nor forced against it. And how is this possible? I have bound up my choice to act with the will of God. God wills that I be sick, such is my will. He wills that I should choose something, so do I. He wills that I reach for something, or something be given to me — I wish for the same. What God doesn't will, I do not wish for. — Epictetus, Discourses, 4.1.89

When General Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote to his wife on the eve of invasion of Normandy, he told her, "Everything we could think of has been done, the troops are fit everybody is doing his best. The answer is in the lap of the gods." He'd done everything he could — and now, what would happen would happen and as Epictetus might say, he was ready to bear whatever that was. In fact, Eisenhower had written another letter that night and prepared it for release in case the invasion failed. If failure was what God — or fate or luck or whatever you want to call it — willed, he was ready.

There is a wonderful lesson there. The man in charge of perhaps the most powerful army the world will hopefully ever know, was humble enough to know that the outcome ultimately belonged to someone or something bigger than him.

And so it goes with all our ventures. No matter how skilled or smart we are, the ultimate outcome is in the lap of the gods. The sooner we know that, the better we will be.

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

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