Welcome back to Mid-Week Meditations, Lifehacker’s weekly dip into the pool of stoic wisdom, and a guide to using its waters to reflect on and improve your life.
Photo by Luke McKernan.
This week’s selection comes from Marcus Aurelius. He thinks you’re wasting time trying to get to the bottom of the things that bother you.
What It Means
Basically, stop wasting your time trying to understand and deal with known nuisances and just move on. Food is bad? Don’t eat it. Don’t want to walk through thorns? Take a different route. Spending any more time on such things would, as Aurelius puts it, make you a “laughing-stock” to other stoics, or “students of Nature”.
What to Take From It
Complaints about little things aren’t worth your time. Stop crying about what’s annoying you and do one of two things: Avoid it, or fix it (if possible). Office too loud? Buy some noise-cancelling headphones. Hate how far your couch is from your TV? Move it closer. Feeling cold? Put on some more layers. Don’t chew on the metaphorical “bitter cucumber” and drone on about how much you dislike it (especially online). Some things are, and will always be, a nuisance to you. Do yourself, and everyone else, a favour and just find a way to avoid it. Why spend your life walking through thorns?