I’ve finally been able to finish THIS book* I started a month ago. What stood out for me was the topic of “externals.”
What are “externals?”
Stoic “externals” are NOT in your control, therefore they are NOT up to you. They are things such as your body, work, your home and such. In the book, Massimo explains that the Stoics say that you shouldn’t really pay attention to “externals” because of this.
Take myself for example.
I was doing everything right; I exercised, took my vitamins, ate “healthy” and yet my body still “failed” me. I was diagnosed with stage three osteoarthritis and now had to take a step back in fitness.
Should you completely ignore the “external?” No, but you should just take them into consideration and keep in mind that they can change at ANY moment.
You could do your best at work, but still lose it (hello, Covid?).
You could keep up with maintenance and repairs of your home and yet a tornado could destroy it.
I don’t know why this particular section hit me. Maybe it’s because I tend to fixate on the “what ifs.” “What if, I didn’t start Crossfit?”
“What if I never did bodybuilding?”
“What if I had listened to my knee pain more?”
I came to a realization this was a complete waste of time. Granted, I partially blame my ADHD. But seriously, what type of progress was I gain with these irrelevant “what if” questions?
Instead, I should be focusing on the “internal.”
Focusing on what I CAN control such as my opinions, thoughts and desires While I’m not perfect in the slightest, I’m trying my best to just move forward and refrain from asking myself these “what if” questions.
To just be the best human being I can be one day at a time.
*If you can’t get your hands on the book, I highly recommend THIS ARTICLE that talks about the Stoic concept of “externals.”
For MORE similar blog posts, check my Mental Health Journey page HERE.