Everything has two handles

Everything has two handles, by one of which it may be carried, and by the other not. If your brother wrongs you, do not take it by this handle, that he is wronging you (for this is the handle that it cannot be carried by), but by the other, that he is your brother, that he was brought up with you, and then you will be taking it by the handle by which it ought to be carried.

~ Epictetus from Handbook, #43

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Keeping you small

The trick is: You bite off more than you can chew… and then you still chew it. Your mind always believes it can do less than it actually can. It will tell you it’s too much, to stop, to take a berak, to cancel this or that. But your mind will lie to you to keep you small.

~ Will Smith

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Choose two

Life is about tradeoffs. When we know what to say no to, and we know why, we can say yes with comfort and confidence to the things that matter. To the things that last. Work, family, scene. You can have two if you say no to one. If you can’t, you’ll have none.

~ Ryan Holiday from, https://ryanholiday.net/work-family-scene/

The words “work”, “family”, and “scene” are of course maleable. I’d argue there’s a fourth—”self” or “health” would be the word I’d choose—and the admonition should be expanded to, “choose any three.” None the less, there something that feels to me very true about it being necessary, in the way the gravity is necessary to obey, about picking two of those three. There was a time when I chose work and scene. It was interesting, for a while. It wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. What’s your list, and which are you choosing?

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This is the last time

There was, or will be, a last time for everything you do, from climbing a tree to changing a diaper, and living with a practiced awareness of that fact can make even the most routine day feel like it’s bursting with blessings. Of all the lasting takeaways from my periodic dives into Stoicism, this is the one that has enhanced my life the most.

~ David Cain from, https://www.raptitude.com/2021/09/the-last-time-always-happens-now/

This is by far the most important thing I’ve learned in my several decades. I’ve written about this previously, try my “perspective” tag for some tastes, but this item bears endless repeating. Do it as if it is the last time. Think of it, in the moment, as if it is the last time. And for a bonus multiplier—but don’t do this too often or you get disappointed too—think about that thing you’re about to do, the same way. Tomorrow, when I ____ , that will be the last time I get to _____ .

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The number of days

Wherever your life ends, it is all there. The utility of living consists not in the length of days, but in the use of time; a man may have lived long, and yet lived but a little. Make use of time while it is present with you. It depends upon your will, and not upon the number of days, to have a sufficient length of life.

~ Michel de Montaigne

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A gift

I felt like I had a choice, and I had to look and choose. Do I go into nothingness, I give up, I quit, I walk off the cliff ahead of me, I just run off it and scream and that’s it, or do I accept that everything’s been taken away from me, but it was never mine to begin with? We come from dust, and we return to dust. We don’t have anything except what we’re given, and it’s a gift. Life is a gift.

~ Andrew Foster from, https://forum.moversmindset.com/t/008-andrew-foster-global-journey-losing-everything-and-finding-purpose/83

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You have seen all

Life in itself is neither good nor evil; it is the scene of good or evil as you make it. And, if you have lived a day, you have seen all: one day is equal and like to all other days. There is no other light, no other shade; this very sun, this moon, these very stars, this very order and disposition of things, is the same your ancestors enjoyed, and that shall also entertain your posterity.

~ Michel de Montaigne

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