I may be late to the game, but recently, I rediscovered the Stoics. Stoicism has been around since about 300 BC.
Here’s a simple explanation: Stoicism is an ancient school of philosophy cobbled together from other philosophies. Four of the greatest stoics were Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Rufus and Epictetus.
And this past week a colleague turned me back on to this ancient wisdom when he recommended reading Ryan Holiday. I bought a three-volume set and am reading The Obstacle Is The Way. What a great way to reframe those annoying setbacks that happen to all of us every day.
In the chapter titled Think Differently, he says, ‘…we shouldn’t listen too closely to what other people say (or to what the voice in our head says, either). We’ll find ourselves erring on the side of accomplishing nothing.’
I know I’ve been deeply hurt by unkind words delivered to me by my mother, my ex-husband, and a colleague. They can still sometimes bring up painful emotions.
But I’m also realizing that because I gave those words a little credence, perhaps because I feared they might be true, I did play a little bit smaller as a result. I’m not saying I accomplished nothing, but I can say that, in one case, those words had me stuck for the better part of a decade.
What a waste! If only I knew then to be more careful in what and who I choose to listen to.
Try this ONE thing
What is ONE thing you’ve listened to too closely? How has that impacted you in a negative way? Can you now realize it’s okay to not listen to it anymore? I certainly hope so.
Imagine who you could be and what you could do if you got a little more selective in what you choose to hear.
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