What you desire, controls you
“Its not only the desire for wealth and position that debases and subjugates, but also the desire for peace, leisure, travel and learning. It doesnt matter what the external thing is, the value we place on it subjugates us to another … where our heart is set, there our impediment lies.”
– Epictetus, Discourses, 4.4.1-2; 15 (from The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman).
Ryan Holiday asks “surely Epictetus is not saying that peace and travel are bad, is he?” No, he explains. But ceaseless, ardent desire is filled with “potential complications”.
I am reminded of a verse in Bible that money is not the root of all evil. The love of money is.
When we pine for something, we set ourselves for disappointment. We can lose our self control in response.
Authors suggest that a good goal, like “love or a noble cause” can set you up just as well.
My self reflection: this verse jumps out at me and helps explain something Im going through, have been going through, esp with manipulative family members.
Coaching question of the day
Are you in control of your desires, or are they in control of you?