Remember, it is not enough to be hit or insulted to be harmed, you must believe that you are being harmed. If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation. Which is why it is essential that we not respond impulsively to impressions; take a moment before reacting, and you will find it is easier to maintain control. (Epictetus - Enchiridion XX)
Whenever you are hit with a powerful emotional reaction, immediately take a deep breath and separate your impression from the event itself. The emotional reaction we always have is from our initial impression and it is almost always overbearing in its calculation of the incident.
Regardless of what happens, know that anything outside your control is of no concern, because it cannot touch the you that matters. What you can control is your response. Will you choose to be angry? Depressed? Afraid? Why? How do those things help you? How do they make you stronger or more virtuous? How do they lead to a life of happiness and fulfillment?
Another exercise in perspective I like to take is to simply ask ask if it will matter 10 hours, 10 days, 10 months or even 10 years from now.
The next time something emotionally jarring happens, pause, take a breath, know that it’s already drifting in the past, and simply ask, what does this moment require of you?
🍺 to a great week ahead!