Today’s exercise commands me to apply Epictetus’s maxim that some things are under our control and some things are not under our control to a current specific example from my own life, preferably one that rouses strong desires or upsetting emotions, but I’m struggling to think of one.
I know, flying. I dislike flying but I have to do it a lot because of living in Canada. The Handbook then asks me the following questions:
How much control do I have over the situation. A: 0%
Why isn’t it 100%? A: Because I’m not the pilot of the effing plane.
Why isn’t it 0%. A: Actually it is 0%. Although I could refuse to get on the plane, in which case it would be 100%, but I wouldn’t have any way of getting back to Canada.
What would happen if you were more Stoical in your attitude? Absolutely nothing. I am already Stoical about it.
I don’t think that exercise worked. I think it would have been helpful to have more guidance about the kind of situation the exercise is supposed to be about.