The Ultimate Stoicism Training With Epictetus – Part 2

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If you haven’t read the first part, I recommend you to start from here:

The Ultimate Stoicism Training With Epictetus – Part 1

Since I’ve also refilled my coffee, we can safely continue our Stoicism guide with Epictetus.



Don’t demand that things happen as you wish, but wish that they do happen as they do happen.

Let’s interpret this in terms of relationships since most people seem to suffer from something similar to this.

You keep trying to find someone, right? Epictetus says, stop looking for it.

He/She will come to you when the time is right. It is true that you can create opportunities to meet with new partners but do not wish things not in your control to come in your way.

Refrain from desiring. Everything happens for a reason. If you are single now, make proper use of it. Rest assured: You’ll meet them. Just make sure you are fully prepared when you do.

While waiting, you might want to find your life’s purpose, help others and do meaningful work in your career.



With every accident, ask yourself what abilities you have for making a proper use of it.


If you see an attractive person, find that self-restraint you have against your desire.


If you are in pain, find fortitude.


If you hear unpleasant language, find patience.

We need an internal self-discipline to control and maintain consistency in our lives.

Especially if you are a writer or an entrepreneur, you know how hard it is to work on your craft sometimes. Without a boss constantly checking up on you, it becomes work to do your “work”.

But that’s not it. It is the self-discipline and inner fortitude you lack but instead should maintain.

You can be tired because of consecutive restless work hours or get sick of doing things you have been doing over and over again without any tangible results, nonetheless, the answer is the same:

it is O.K.AY. It happens.

I get you. We all have our off days. We all have our days when we just want to watch reality shows and play video games.

However, what separates successful people from others is the persistence they are willing to show in spite of boredom and exhaustion. It is about how quickly you get back up from the pit you’ve fallen down to.

It is okay to slip and fall but it is not okay to waste time there. You don’t have that luxury. So many people depend on you.

Understand: No one expects perfection from you. It is too much of a pressure to bear. We, humans, need rest and play to function properly. You are not a machine. I get that. But you also have to get that you have responsibilities to take ownness for. You are living and breathing for a reason, not to sleep and procrastinate.

When you realize you’ve been going overboard with rest and play, just quickly shake yourself up and get back to work. When you have that kind of self-awareness, the pieces will eventually fall into place.


Law #10

Never say of anything ” I have lost it ” but ” I have returned it “


Is your child dead? It is returned.


Is your wife dead? She is returned.


Is your estate taken away? Well, is not that likewise returned?


“But he who took away is a bad man”


What difference is it to you who the giver assigns it to take it back?


While he gives it to you to possess, take care of it, but don’t view it as your own, just as travellers view a hotel.

Epictetus wants you to understand the ephemeral nature of all things. You should avoid taking things for granted or having too much faith or trust in them.

All external things – money, fame, people – can be seen as a bus. They will come and go. Instead of mourning the loss – cherish it while it lasts.

Even though financial independence is a critical stage of your personal development journey. It is important to know that you can still practice Stoicism whether poor or rich. 

I want you to stop mourning and grieving because, in the blink of an eye, what was permanent once can suddenly become temporary, and even non-existent.

Realize: change is the only thing that is bound to never change.

When you see people leaving your life, you are merely giving back what you have loaned, not losing what you have owned.  – Arda Cigin

Most people, however intelligent, tend to gravitate toward the illusion of ownership. Don’t be a fool. You don’t have such power to own anything for you are merely a mortal, and if you are only a mortal, realize you can only loan, not own.

A day will come when everything will be taken from you. And when that day comes, you should be an emerald and keep your color. You have to remain the same man as Marcus Aurelius says.


Because at the end of the day, it’s all that really matters – to stay true to oneself.


If you want to improve, reject such reasonings as these:


“If I neglect my affairs, I’ll have no income.”


“If I don’t correct my servant, he will be bad.”


For it is better to die with hunger exempt from grief and fear, than to live in affluence with perturbation ; and it is better your servant should be bad, than you unhappy.


Begin therefore, from little things,


“Is a little oil spilt?”


“A little wine stolen?” Say to yourself


“This is the price paid for apathy, for tranquility and nothing is to be had for nothing.”


When you call your servant, it is possible that he may not come, or if he does come, he may not do what you want. But he is by no means of such importance that it should be in his power to give you any disturbance.

You shouldn’t work for money. If you do work only for money, it is better you die from hunger because you literally sell your soul for something so ephemeral, so transitory and so fleeting – money.

There is only one worthwhile pursuit when it comes to money: the pursuit of your life’s purpose. I want you to find what it is that gives you fulfillment and own it. Turn it into a business – an art form – you can creatively express without a boss constantly checking up on you every 15 minutes. 

You should stop trying to change or judge others because you don’t know their story. You haven’t walked the path they’ve walked. You haven’t experienced what they’ve experienced. Let go of that arrogance. Who do you think you are? You are not in a position to judge anyone.

Remember that you were once just like those whom now you look down upon. Then try once looking up – you’ll see a long mountain waiting to be climbed.

The more you climb, the more you realize you are only at the base camp. The more you learn, the more you realize how less you actually know. The more you judge people, the more you realize you are only projecting your own childishness and insecurity.

Stop all that. Just focus on your own life. Focus on what is in your control. 

Last but not least, as the late great philosopher Nietzsche once said,

The value of a thing sometimes lies not in what one attains with it but in what one pays for it – what is costs us”

Keep those words in mind when you make decisions in life. They will surely be of great help.


If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid with regard to external things.


Don’t wish to be thought to know anything; and even if you appear to be somebody important to others, distrust yourself.


For, it is difficult to both keep your faculty of choice in a state conformable to nature, and at the same time acquire external things.

Whatever career path you decide to pursue, realize that for a lot of people it will seem like a foolish choice. Your work may have meaning for you, but maybe not for everyone else.

You might want to teach how to play the piano to people, start a blog and a youtube channel, upload your first content. Shortly after that, someone you most care about utters those words:


The work’s meaning is subjective to the individual. People will judge you internally, if not externally. Your job is to ask yourself this question:

Am I fulfilling my highest potential in this career path?

This is the only thing you need to answer to. Not other people’s close-minded remarks at discouraging you.

If you want to become a writer, an entrepreneur or simply a fisherman; others will judge you unconsciously. Deal with it. Maybe your friends may even ridicule you for taking on such a path.

Pay no heed to these people. They are the pinnacle of human foolishness. They don’t realize when they are constantly judging you, they also should be judging themselves for their choices.

They lack the humility and detachment to stay objective. And this brings a swift death to their virtuous character. Sometimes a blow its damage is far too severe to recover from.

On the contrary, there will be some people who’ll praise you for your work and efforts. Beware – because now the test of true character begins. Abraham Lincoln says,

“Nearly all man can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Now they praise you. They think you are magnificent. They think you have a bright future ahead of you. I can safely advise you should avoid these people at all cost. They, at times, can inflict greater pain than those foolish people who judged you before.

Now your ego is in the picture again but this time, in a more dangerous position. Arrogance is such an easy trap to fall into unless you’ve properly harvested and developed humility precisely in times of praise and success.

Most people do not accomplish what they really want to accomplish because of their inflated egos. Understand that in the grand scheme of things, you are nobody. Distrust yourself. As Tim Ferriss once said,

“You are never as good or as bad as they say.”

Find the balance here. When others give you any sort of power, do not fly but, in any circumstance, keep your feet on the ground. Otherwise, your own ego will murder you. Count on it. 



Remember that you must behave in life as at a dinner party. Is anything brought around to you? Put out your hand and take your share with moderation.


Does it pass by you? Don’t stop it. Is it not yet come? Don’t stretch your desire towards it, but wait till it reaches you.


Do this with regard to children, to a wife, to public posts, to riches, and you will eventually be a worthy partner of the feasts of the gods.


And if you don’t even take the things which are set before you, but are able even to reject them, then you will not only be a partner at the feasts of the gods, but also of their empire.


For, by doing this, Diogenes, Heraclitus and others like them, deservedly became, and were called, divine.

Take your share with moderation – never be greedy.

Does it pass you by? Don’t stop it – Don’t mourn or grief losses. Change is a permanent part of life. Accept that and you’ll find strength.

Is it not come yet? Don’t stretch your desire towards it – Learn to be content with what you’ve got. You can’t even imagine how many people want to be in your shoes.

And if you don’t take things which are set before you, and even able to reject them – the ability to say no to immediate pleasures for long-term strategic gains – you’ll practice one of the four virtues of Stoics: Self-control.

 Or as Robert Greene put it,

 “Lose battles but win the war”

Thank you for sticking with me thus far. I know it was a heavy read but a necessary one in my opinion.

If you want me to write a part 3;

Share this post on social media with your friends who need some life guide right now.

Share your ideas in the comments section below. I’d love to hear them.

As a final note, let me end my article with the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson,

“As to methods, there may be million and then some, but the principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”

If you want to learn more about the importance of presence and its relation to Stoicism, I have some additional resources for you.

What is Enlightenment: A Step By Step Practical Guide

How I Experienced A State of No Thought and Peace: Exactly How It Happened

Stoicism & Buddhism: Similarities and Differences

How Depression Can Induce Enlightenment

If you’ve found value in this article and want more people to learn about Stoicism, don’t forget to share it with a friend.

Consider joining my free email course. There is much exclusive content waiting for you there as well.

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