I'm studying the Discourses of Epictetus, and this is the first in the NuVision Publications, LLC 2006 edition.
- Our ability to think enables us to choose when to act and what action to take.
- It's also the only real power we have: the power to choose.
- It's what can lead us to a good life within our limitations.
- Since we can't control our circumstances, we must control our ability to think.
- No one can affect us unless we let them; the physical world is less important than our ability to think.
- It's better to be detached from fate and physical things, and be ready to die without resentment and lament. This is the proper study of humans.
I agree that focusing on what I can control is the best way to pursue a good life. I'm not sure detachment and stoicism make for a good life, though.
The ability we have to choose our actions and reactions is the foundation of my approach to life. Not only is this ability the only power we have to affect our lives, it's important to exercise it--this exercise of the power of choice is the point of life.