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Day 36: Steady Your Impulses

“Don’t be bounced around, but submit every impulse to the claims of justice, and protect your clear conviction in every appearance.”

Marcus Aurelius

I think I have learned today’s lesson a hard way in my life. I was the type of person who lives from moment to moment. Finding the highs in smaller things and hitting the lows with even more trivial things. But I used to think that this is the way to live life. I thought that what is life if not for these highs and if we get few lows in between then you must brave through it.

Only when I was hit by continuous lows that I realized how unsteady this way of living is. And truly speaking it is exhausting to live this way. Only when I am introduced to this book and the philosophy of Stoicism that I realized how much more happy and content I am.

Now I am not claiming to become a Stoic master and saying that I have control of all of my impulses. But I think I have learned a thing or two in the past few months which has greatly helped me in my journey and I sharing them with you here:

Slow thinking

I think I have talked about it so many of my previous posts, but it is the single most thing that helped me the most. If you observe anyone who leads such life you will notice one thing in all and that is that they live on impulses. They don’t act on emotions but they react to them.

Last year forced me to live in solitude and hence it gave me a lot of time to think and reflect. So, instead of getting happy or sad about any situation immediately, I take a gap to reflect on it first and that does all the magic.

Delaying decisions

I have this mantra with me for so long. I don’t know who taught me this but it has helped me tremendously in making many foolish decisions in life. And the mantra is ‘Don’t take decisions either when you are too happy or when you are too sad’. I think for a person who tries to live in the moment, it is often the case that they end up deciding something to regret later.

To adapt this mantra as a guiding principle in my life I force myself to not get swayed by the sweet impulses of life and I think it might help you do the same if you also adopt it.

I have talked about similar topics on how to be steady or vice versa how to be unsteady in my previous post of the same series. You can read them too.

Ques: What do you do to steady your impulses in day to day life?

Published inPhilosophy & IdeasStoicism

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