“Whenever you get an impression of some pleasure, as with any impression, guard yourself from being carried away by it, let it await your action, give yourself a pause. After that, bring to mind both times, first when you have enjoyed the pleasure and later when you will regret it and hate yourself. Then compare to those the joy and satisfaction you’d feel for abstaining altogether. However, if a seemingly appropriate time arises to act on it, don’t be overcome by its comfort, pleasantness, and allure—but against all of this, how much better the consciousness of conquering it.”
— EPICTETUS FROM THE ENCHIRIDION
The Stoic must not give in to pleasure.
That’s the message of today’s passage, and I would benefit from learning from it. How many times have I let my indulgence get the best of me, only for me to be bothered by it’s effects the next day.
When I have been working out, and I keep disciplined for an entire week, only to break my streak on a rest day and just feel so out of the touch the day after. This has been the reason why I keep restarting my workouts and never been able to sustain my routines and never accomplishing anything.
Pleasure can cloud one’s judgement when gotten out of hand.
When I indulge in something, I get trapped in the comfort and just don’t do anything. The rationalizations kick in, “I deserve this”, “I don’t need to better myself”, “I can continue my tasks another time”.
Procrastination takes over and I’m idle and unbecoming of my potential.
A Stoic conquers barriers to live according to reason. And I must be vigilant that I don’t fall into that trap again.