Stoicism is based on the title as mentioned above. If one can master the title of this post then their lives will take a drastic turn for the better. Now, what is the dichotomy of control and how can it improve one’s life, specifically?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
It’s really simple. The dichotomy of control simplifies life into two main aspects: those things which you can control and the things you can’t. If you can distinguish the difference then you can make a difference. Yeah, I know it sounds cliche; however, this simple concept, if you can wrap your mind around it, will not only increase the quality of your life but connect you with your inner spirit which will guide you toward making the necessary changes.
What you can control: Your health, your weight, your hygiene, your actions, your thoughts, your reactions/responses to circumstances, your outlooks, your attitude, your work ethic, your effort, your time, your attention, your resources.
What you can’t control: the world, society, other people’s words and actions, external circumstances, life, death, fortune, misfortune, karma, nature, everything that is outside yourself.
Look at the two lists above and ask yourself which one is larger, which one is impossible for one person to control.
If you’re a thinking man, you will realize the second list is larger across the board and impossible to control.
Everything and anything that doesn’t relate to you directly, you cannot control. Even some things that relate directly to you, you can only partially control. Anything that relates to you, well, most things that relate to you, you can control either to a degree or fully.
Evaluate your state of existence. Look at your situation and analyze what you can control directly, what you can influence to a degree, and what you have not control over. If you can categorize aspects of your life into this dichotomy, you will effectively be able to make chess moves and level up with utmost ease. You have the ability to create the conditions that make it easy for you to transition from the average Joe to the best version of yourself, even if that version isn’t extraordinary on a large scale.
Alright, that’s my spiel. Til next week!