Reactions to Problems

Epictetus (pronounced Epic-TEE-tus) lived and taught in both Rome and Greece in the first century. Like stoic philosophers that preceded him, he dealt with logic, physics, and ethics.

Epictetus taught that adversity introduces a person to oneself. On the occasion when a situation befalls you, remember to turn to yourself and inquire what power you have for turning it to your use.

There is only one form of security we can attain during our lives, and that is inner security—the kind that comes from courage, experience and the willingness to learn, to grow, and to attempt the unknown.

World War II Admiral William Halsey said that if you touch a thistle timidly, it pricks you. But if you grasp it boldly, its spines crumble.

Security is not what the wise person looks for; it’s opportunity. All problems become smaller if you don’t dodge them but confront them.

We know this but we tend to forget that it’s our reaction that determines as much as the situation itself. It’s not necessarily the problem; it’s how we handle the problem. It’s how we react that not only determines our growth and maturity but our future successes.

Instead of focusing on security, think in terms of opportunity.

It is so much more liberating.