Thoughts over batchoy

February 15, 2019

I've managed to reach a certain point where I am able to choose not to react to situations; to respond as wisely and as tactfully as I can. Up to a certain point. Beyond that, I tend to go rogue and lose all sense of self-control. Everything goes downhill and merely functioning becomes a struggle.

When I think about it, I've consciously avoided putting myself in scenarios that could possibly overwhelm me, especially in the last few years. Everything I do outside my comfort zone is a calculated risk or something I condition myself for some time. Of course I'm not entirely insusceptible from being beset by my feelings or from being perplexed by the irrationality of 90% of things I have no power over; but given the choice, I'd rather be at peace always. So much drama in the past has made any manifestation of brimming emotions slightly, if not totally, off-putting.

Since the beginning of the year, I've been reading/following The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman. This excerpt from Epictetus's Discourses, 1.18.21 (February 4 entry) struck a chord—"Who then is invincible? The one who cannot be upset by anything outside their reasoned choice." It made me think of celebrities getting asked wayward questions during on-the-spot/live interviews and how some are able to answer creatively and segue the conversation to another matter of interest. Pretty sure not all of them were born with the skill, but repeated experience or practice must have made them quicker on their feet.

I have yet to challenge and put myself in a setting that requires an instant response from me. Up to a certain point, I am able to rein in my impulses, but so much room for improvement is left to be addressed. I'll get there, eventually. Now, where and how do I muster the courage to take the leap?

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