Tony Edwards

Sphere of control

- 1 min

Wherever possible, I try to focus on the things that are within my control, letting go of those that I have no influence over.

“Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.” - Epictetus

The Stoics believed that the key to a fulfilling life was to concern themselves only with that which fell under there sphere of control. As Marcus Aurelius wrote in his Meditations, “It is not things themselves that disturb us, but our opinion about them”. By shifting our attention away from external circumstances and instead focusing on our own thoughts and actions, we can find peace and tranquility amidst even the most trying of situations.

This principle, known as cognitive reframing, is at the core of Stoic thought. By recognizing that our thoughts and beliefs shape our reality, we can take control of our emotional responses to events and situations. By choosing to focus on the positive aspects of a situation, rather than dwelling on the negative, we can shift our perspective and find peace in even the most challenging circumstances.

This not only improves our emotional well-being, but it also increases our ability to problem-solve and make sound decisions. By choosing to focus on the present moment and let go of regrets about the past or worries about the future, we can live in a state of contentment fulfillment. This in turn leads to greater productivity, creativity, and overall satisfaction in life.

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