Sagely advice, another classic in the “dichotomy of control” from Marcus Aurelius’ famous Meditations. And after 2020, I couldn’t think of a better quote to ring in the New Year:
“Things have no hold on the soul. They stand there unmoving, outside it. Disturbance comes only from within – from our own perceptions”
Prior to this sentiment, Marcus writes about our “inward power” and how there is always a choice on how we can respond to adversity “by going within” and how “nowhere you can go is more peaceful – more free of interruptions – than your own soul”.
The more I read Marcus, the more I see how the likes of Frankl, Mandela, and others were inspired by Stoic principles; and specifically on this theme of the dichotomy of control – focusing on what you can control and the realization that the choice is always ours on how we respond to adversity.
1) Pages 37-38 in Marcus Aurelius, and Gregory Hays. 2003. Meditations: a new translation. New York: Modern Library.