Daily Touch of Inspirations

September 28th: You hold the trump card

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

How appropriate that the gods put under our control only the most powerful ability that govern all the rest — the ability to make the right use of external appearances — and that they didn't put anything else under our control. Was this simply because they weren't willing to give us more? I think if it had been possible they would have given us more, but it was impossible. — Epictetus, Discourses 1.1.7-8


We could look at the upcoming day and despair at all the things we don't control: other people, our health, the temperature, the outcome of a project once it leaves our hands.

Or we could look out at that very same day and rejoice at the one thing we do control: the ability to decide what any event means.

This second option offers the ultimate power — a true and fair form of control. If you had control over other people, wouldn't other people have control over you? Instead, what you've been granted is the fairest and most usable of trump cards. While you don't control external events, you retain the ability to decide how you respond to those events. You control what every external event means to you personally.

This includes the difficult one in front of you right now. You'll find, if you approach it right, that this trump card is plenty.

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

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