7 Things for a Stoic Mind— My Stoic Musings 007

Photo by Martin Woortman on Unsplash

“The proper work of the mind is the exercise of choice, refusal, yearning, repulsion, preparation, purpose, and assent. What then can pollute and clog the mind’s proper functioning? Nothing but its own corrupt decisions.” — Epictetus, Discourses, 4.11.6–7

Life is difficult and complicated. And every day we encounter more difficulties and complications that pile up on top of the previous day’s difficulties and complications. These become a never-ending to-do list. And every day, looking at this mountain of problems that we need to solve, we really do feel overwhelmed. There are always so many decisions that our mind needs to make and so many things it needs to think about every minute of every day. No wonder we invented aspirin to keep us going. But the stoics have an answer for our overwhelmed mind, one that doesn’t involve drugging it with mind-numbing (quite literally) chemicals. And the answer is simple: Our mind only needs to work on these 7 things:

According to the stoics, these are the only things our mind needs to focus on, and failing to do so is the recipe for bad and corrupt decisions.

This article is a part of my Stoic Musings challenge, inspired by the book “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, where I take a quote from the book and reflect on it, every day for 366 days. You can find the entire list of articles on my website(Link in my bio). Follow me for daily updates on my stoic musings :)



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