3 Minute Monday
The Dichotomy Of Control is one of the core practices of Stoicism.
Also called “The Stoic Fork”.
The Stoics believed that one of the primary reasons we suffer is because we confuse things which are outside of our control with those which are within our control.
Common examples of uncontrollables are the weather, the traffic, our boss’s attitude, our children’s school results, the financial markets and the behaviour of anyone or anything that isn’t us.
Common examples of controllables include our effort, our attitude, our discipline, the time we leave the house, how we respond to our boss, whether we help our children with their homework, whether we tell the truth and whether we stick to our diet.
We do not have jurisdiction over things which are outside of our control.
The weather is uncontrollable.
It’s going to rain or shine regardless of what we do, or want, so we might as well focus on what we CAN do, like packing a jacket, or wearing shorts.
The Stoics believed that we can liberate ourselves by remembering where the limits of our controllables lie.
Try as you might, you cannot make your boss any nicer, or your sister any more assertive with her boyfriend.
You can only do your best with your own thoughts and actions.
You can focus on the useful ones, and dispel the Not Useful ones through practice.
You can use discipline to consistently fulfil as much of your potential as you can.
You can use your compassion to give yourself a break when you fall short, and treat it as a learning experience for next time.
An element of the Stoic Fork which isn’t focussed on as much but certainly should be is how it relates to our past and future actions.
Much of the time we ruminate about what we could have done or should have done or would have done if we were given another chance.
But the past is out of your control.
Yes, it’s correct to say it WASN’T at one point.
You had control when it was the future.
But it’s no longer the future.
That page has been written.
The past is no more of a controllable to you now than the weather.
In fact it’s actually a tiny bit LESS of a controllable than the weather.
Think about it like that.
You have less control over your past than you do over the weather.
All you can focus on is what’s coming toward you, and your responses.
Fully internalising this helped me to stop ruminating about my past.
I do a podcast which has had 13 million+ downloads. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
This week’s upcoming episodes:
Adam Lane Smith – practising psychotherapist Adam joins me to give 15 harsh psychology truths. So many jaw dropping insights in this one.
Life Hacks 204 – the boys are back and we’re talking best protein powders, YouTube Premium, Netflix recommendations, steak cooking and more.
Not sure yet, maybe Gabrielle Bluestone the Executive Producer of the Fyre Festival Documentary on the world’s biggest grifters.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
Doing a podcast with Jordan Peterson will annihilate your inbox.
I’ve been thinking about getting a PA for a while.
This week was the nail in the coffin of confirming that I need one going forward.
I’ll be sending out an application link over the next few weeks.
If you, or someone you know, is organised as heck, a competent writer, loves the podcasting world, can schedule & plan, and most importantly is diligent and precise – keep them in mind ready for this application to go live please.
Chimpanzees have testicles nearly as big as their brains.
Testicle size is inversely proportional to how monogamous a creature is.
Chimpanzee females have been found to mate with as many as 50 males in a single day.
Which makes it a battle of sheer volume down there.
The goal is literally to “wash out” the other males’ semen.
What a terrible, terrible image.
Enjoy your morning porridge.
That Chinese term roughly means ‘Revenge bedtime procrastination’.
It relates to when “people who don’t have much control over their daytime life refuse to sleep early in order to regain some sense of freedom during late night hours”.
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Do not book a holiday without using it.
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Jordan Peterson predicts the death of the mainstream media…