Are you uncomfortable enough?
With the current situation in the world, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of pain and believe that everything has gone to shit…. but really, what’s the benefit of that?
“How does it help…to make troubles heavier by bemoaning them?” — Seneca
‘Yeah, but Seneca never lived through a pandemic,’ I hear you thinking.
That’s true. But Seneca did get exiled by a Roman emperor to an island for several years, only to return to a advise a new emperor who eventually forced him to take his own life. So his life certainly had his challenges.
I work in the travel industry, which has clearly seen better days, several of my friends and colleagues have lost their jobs, with few other businesses in travel recruiting right now. The restaurant industry is on its knees, as lockdowns force small business owners who have worked hard for many years building their little wine shops or corner cafés into places that get a fraction of the business they once received. And there are countless of other examples of other industries suffering and people struggling….it’s an understatement to suggest that this has not been an easy year.
As a result of these challenges, there is a lot of added stress, fear, anxiety and frustration. None of which, unfortunately, makes the situation better.
Stoicism can help
Looking at the challenges of 2020 through the lens of a stoic can help you find the resilience you need to keep going and trust that everything will be ok.
That’s what I love about stoicism — it’s a practical philosophy that offers ancient wisdom for modern challenges. One of the fundamental ideas of stoicism is that you must accept what you cannot control. You see, once you recognize (and accept) that there is very little that you can control in the situation, then it suddenly creates the clarity you need to focus on what you can control. That focus helps form and build resilience — something that is needed more than ever right now.
My wife is anxious about the impending lockdown in Vancouver. And so, I ask her genuinely ‘how does it help to be anxious about…