«We are not disturbed by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens to us» — Epictetus
Perspective and the language we use when we interact with others is an important factor that determines the quality of our relationships. As important or more is the language we use when we talk to ourselves. Thoughts or self-talk determine our well being. Thoughts set our mindset, and in one way or another, the quality of our lives.
Epictetus tells us that are our thoughts about an event or thing that really disturbs us. Hamlet, when caught in his family drama, exclaimed: «There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so»
By no means, No. I am not saying that we should minimize real tragedies as an accident, a family loss, social injustice, or natural disasters. We are talking about the power you have to decide who or what can upset or annoy you, Only you can decide to let something or someone disturb you and steal your happiness and peace of mind. It is in your hands, it is your decision to give them power over you or not.
What or who do you give power to?
I have been chewing this idea for quite a while. How many times did I yield my peace of mind to missing a green light and having to wait 45 more seconds stuck in traffic? How many times have you spoiled your day thinking about minor things that ended up only existing in your mind? «My boss must be mad at me, he didn’t return my greetings» «Susan doesn’t like me anymore, she turned out my lunch invitation» A delayed flight. Covid19
What a waste of time and energy. It is just plain self sabotage!
Perspective And The Language We Use
You and I need to become aware that some things are within our control and some are not. believing that we can control things that, in fact, we cannot triggers much of our unhappiness.
To be honest, we control very little. We do not control what occurs to us, we cannot control what the people around us say or do. We have little or no control over our own bodies. They get hurt, sick, and die. What we truly can control is how we think about things, the decisions we make about things.
So, it is not events or things that upset us, but how we think about them. They are going to occur. We then make conclusions about what happens. If we conclude that something terrible has happened, then we may get disturbed, unhappy, or furious, depending on what it is. If we decide that something terrible will happen then we might get scared or fearful.
All these reactions are the consequence of the judgements we make. Events and things are neutral and relative since what is terrible for you and me is indifferent to other people. Even more,many more could be cheer it.
It’s the conclusions we make that add value into the scene, and it’s those value judgements that create our emotional reactions.
Then, What do we control?
W have almost no control over anything, yet at the same time we have potentially complete control over our happiness.
In conclusion, let´s keep in mind these two things: First, the importance of perspective and the language we use. Second, it is not so much what happens to you as to how you think about what happens.
Please leave your comments or let us know what resonated with you. I will be in touch before our next balcony chat. I will make sure coffee is hot and wine is cool. Enjoy life!
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