Epictetus from The Handbook 

48.

Average people never look

at themselves as the source of

their own help or harm but rather 
blame everything else. 
Philosophers, however, look to 

themselves as the source

of help and of harm. 
People bettering themselves 

censure no one, 

praise no one, 

blame no one, 

accuse no one; 
they say nothing concerning themselves 

as being anybody or knowing anything. 
When they are thwarted or restrained, 

they accuse themselves; 

and if they are praised, 

they smile to themselves; 
if anyone finds fault,

they are not defensive.  
They move like a convalescent, 

careful not to interfere with anything 

that is going well but 

is not yet quite there. 
They restrain desire; 

they transfer their aversions

to only those things that 

interfere with their will; 
they employ energies 

in moderation but

in all directions. If 

they look stupid, 

they don’t care. 
In other words, 

they watch themselves

like an enemy. 
They watch like  

one in ambush.

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