Daily Stoic | The Enemy of Happiness

What makes me unhappy?

Lately, it’s because I’m not moving yet, because I don’t have access to new games I want to play, because I can’t do what I like since I have no money, I can’t learn new things because I can’t have access to my resources.

But does these limitations say that I shouldn’t be happy?

“It is quite impossible to unite happiness with a yearning for what we don’t have. Happiness has all that it wants, and resembling the well-fed, there shouldn’t be hunger or thirst.”

— FROM THE DISCOURSES OF EPICTETUS

Epictetus says my reasons are bull*. And that my happiness is simply a choice, and it couldn’t be more simple than that. He says that the enemy of happiness is my yearning or desires for things I don’t have. It’s called envy.

When I’m envious, I seek that which I don’t have, which makes me in turn not appreciate what I do have. Epictetus says Happiness has all it wants, and should not be hungry or thirsty. After all, happiness is my choice, but so is despair.

When I’m envious, I become frustrated at my circumstances because I seem to be placed at a disadvantage in life. I would question my fate, if I am indeed destined to always be miserable. And in these times, I was choosing despair over happiness.

A Stoic chooses happiness over despair, therefore so should I.

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