Stoke Stoically

Just as we learned to avoid being burned by learning not to touch fire, so too should we learn not to stoke our anger with what we know will provoke it. Nobody is considered weak for not being able to hold fire, yet we foolishly believe that we are considered strong for holding onto what angers us. Avoiding anger is a strength.

The Prison of Excuses

Every situation is a learning opportunity; an opportunity for self-improvement. There is truth and there is blame. Truth doesn’t care about blame. Blame only cares about avoiding the truth that you are unable to take an honest look at yourself.

Self-care Against Fools

Until you’ve mastered the art of non-reaction, choose not to laugh in the face of ignorance and hypocrisy, but rather offer a gentle reflection. It’s far better for you than the alternative. A deep breath and an empathetic smile is superior to frustration and a scowl. Furthermore, the ignorant and the hypocritical will always be aware of your frustration, but too blinded by their own afflictions to notice your pity. You will never be their source of enlightenment. Let the reflection they see be one of stoic kindness.

Extras and Leads

The extra wants a speaking role. The speaking role wants a bit part. The bit part wants a supporting role. The supporting cast want the lead. It’s the energy we put into what we’re doing now that matters, because the reality is that there will always be higher demand for extras than leads. If we fail to shine as the leads in our own lives, it’s because the spotlight is continually succeeding at lighting our shadows.

Getting the Better of Desire

The best thing in life to get the better of is the desire to better than the best. That’s an external drive with (at best) only momentary validation. The internal drive to be better than you were yesterday so you can be your best self today is renewed every waking moment. That’s sustainable, even on days when it feels unrealistic. If you can vanquish the desire to be anything more than the best you can be in the moment, you’ve defeated the worlds greatest rival…the Ego.