What’s Not Our Business

from THE HANDBOOK by Epictetus
(an adaptation of The Enchiridion)
Some things we can do,
some things we can’t.

We control our opinions,
desires, aversions, and—
to be plain—our own affairs.

We do not control our bodies,
our things, our reputation
(what others think of us).
To be plain—those things
are none of our affair.

What happens when you try
to take power over what you
have no power over? Can
you say “frustration”?
Complaints Bother. Finding
fault with everything.
Take power over what
you have power over.
Then there’s no resistance.
No “no.” You won’t get hurt.

Just keep in mind what
you have power over.

Don’t cross the line.
If you forget—if you
go looking for money
and power—you might
get hurt. At any rate
you will miss what’s
important: happiness.

Freedom.

Listen: learn what illusion looks like.
Learn to say, “Hey, you’re an illusion.”
Learn to ask: What’s in my power?

If it’s not, forget about it.

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