Epictetus: “Men are not disturbed by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen.”
Whenever the walls have felt like they were falling in, I would remind myself of these words.
The Epictetus quote–I referred to it in my book Colors of the Mind in the chapter on Disappointment. I’ve had a lot of disappointing, discouraging things happen to me over the years, but I always hold on to that thought. It helps me get through the forests of life.
YOU are going to be a winner; it doesn’t matter what has happened. It’s going to be tough for a little while, but you’re going to be a winner; I’m absolutely sure of it. You are not a quitter. You have never been, and you won’t start now. Take your own advice (one day at a time) and mine (Epictetus), and soon whatever the mess may be, will be a memory.
My grandfather sent me this short note packed with motivation after I had experienced a huge disappointment. The good news: I can't remember exactly what disappointment it was.
Perhaps I had been broken up with or was turned down for a job. Perhaps I was feeling stabbed in the back by a friend or expected one thing and experienced something lesser. Maybe I let myself down.
I date on this letter is April 16, 2012. (Oh, so, it was a break up). But that doesn't matter now, years later, when my heart has healed and I've most certainly moved on to a stronger version of myself.
But this letter stays with me. These words - not just from Epictetus - but also from my grandfather have guided me as I navigate experience after experience (some of which are disappointing).
I hope this short letter that packs a lot of punch touches your heart today. Because you are going to be a winner; I'm absolutely sure of it.