“If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation.”Epictetus
Things from the past or future can hold power over you.
The past holds countless memories or experiences. We’ve failed. We’ve endured hurt. We’ve lost opportunities and we’ve embarrassed ourselves.
The future looms with endless possibilities, as well. Our past experiences and failures can also repeat themselves. The uncertainty of the weather, the economy, family obligations and dreams loom in front of us.
Whatever preoccupies the mind steers us. The Stoics tried to make this important point. They knew that anyone consumed with the past or preoccupied with the future is a person not busy with life. This person is unthoughtful, unproductive, or absent.
“Remind yourself that past and future have no power over you. Only the present—and even that can be minimized. Just mark off its limits. And if your mind tries to claim that it can’t hold out against that…well, then, heap shame upon it.”Marcus Aurelius
We should limit our focus. What is your focus? Don’t permit the past or the future to cripple you. Break down your problems into bite-size manageable chunks. More so, get through the first item on your to do list. That’s plenty enough.
Choose to focus on what is immediately in front of you. Remember you are not wasting time, but instead busy with life!