We control our reasoned choice and all acts that depend on that moral will. What’s not under our control are the body and any of its parts, our possessions, parents, siblings, children, or country – anything with which we might associate.
Epictetus, Discourses, 1.22.10
Today’s question is what jerks me around?
My mind jerks me around.
It seeks to control my actions, not to be controlled by me.
We must tame our mind, like one would train a wild stallion.
We cannot let our mind run free, nor let it be a force that controls our actions.
The only thing that we can control are our choices, our will and our mind.
By controlling our choices, our will and our mind, we can move closer to a life we don’t regret. We can be a better partner, parent, colleague, friend. My main reason for Stoicism and financial independence is to spend quality time with my family.
To do that, I have to take control of my mind at all times, which reminds me of a quote from Turning the Mind Into an Ally, by Sakyong Mipham:
The bewildered mind is like a wild horse. It runs away when we try to find it, shies when we try to approach it. If we find a way to ride it, it takes off with the bit in its teeth and finally throws us right into the mud. We think that the only way to steady it is to give it what it wants. We spend so much of our energy trying to satisfy and entertain this wild horse of a mind.
With an untrained mind, we’ll live most days of our lives at the mercy of our moods. Waking up in the morning is like gambling: “What mind did I end up with today? Is it the irritated mind, the happy mind, the anxious mind, the angry mind, the compassionate mind, or the loving mind?”
Instead, wake up with the mind you choose. Take the actions you desire.
Ask yourself, am I being consistent.
Look yourself in the mirror. ⠀
Can you truthfully say you’re doing what it takes to achieve your goals, your vision? ⠀
Do you have a current vision for your life? ⠀
Have you determined what it will take to achieve that vision? ⠀
When you woke up this morning, did you known what you needed to hit to achieve it? ⠀
Every day. Day In. Day Out. Are you doing what it is going to take?
You can only do that if you control your mind. If you tame it.