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Learn to Want What you Already Have

The headline above is one of the important ideas in Stoicism. If you can convince yourself you want what you already have, what a joy that will be – to be able to cease striving for more, because you already have what you want.

You won’t be striving for unattainable things, and this can bring you joy. Then you will be grateful for things in your life. Further to that, if you set yourself to imaging the things you don’t have, focusing on the negative things, such as not having sight, then realising the wonders that sight bring to you may feel even more wondrous!

If you wish for unattainable things, you will never be happy, and if you never celebrate all your victories, no matter how minor, you may never feel successful, and die a lonely life with feelings only of failure. Celebrate life, live a moderate life, with no gluttony and enjoy everything you can, without going over the top with anything.

Nature moderates excess by having trees drop branches if the tree is overloaded.\

Gluttony in most things can lead to discomfort, at the least, and serious health issues, and even death, at the most. Who wishes to bring death upon themselves, for an hour or so of excess, when the moderate life can give joy and comfortable living?

I want a life of happy moderation, enough food but never too much, moderate wealth but not a burdensome amount, and having my talents recognised but not mindless adulation. Love from those I love back, honesty but not nastiness with it, and gratitude for what I may have done but without cloying overthanking.

As a good dog is happy to share their life with us, in peace and honestly, so a good Stoic can live their life with others, peacefully and honestly, showing love to those who deserve it, but unlike the hound, realise the famine is unlikely to come, and so there is no need to overeat just in case it comes.

Missy enjoying her quiet life

Missy knows how to live a good and moderate life, resting much, and enjoying the quiet pleasures in her life! Going outside to be with Nature, looking to the sky to see the birds, but, being canine and not a Stoic human, she will eat to excess if she gets the chance to. It is up to us humans, who love and care about her, to ensure she enjoys her food in moderate ways.

Author: carolyncordon

Wife, mother, writer, dog enthusiast. Spending too much time on writing and not enough time on vacuuming. Apparently. I can't see a problem. I have suffered in my life, I have had wonderful things occur in my life. Concentrating on the wonderful things makes it easier for me to live a great life.

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