I write to you today to speak a little bit about struggles. To be honest during this whole ordeal since we've been dealing with the COVID-19 issues and the lockdown type of atmosphere we have to live in, I've been struggling. You may or may not have heard the phrase before “An idol mind is the devil's workshop.'' Regardless of your spiritual religious backgrounds I think we can agree that during times of boredom and isolation our minds tend to wander. And not always in ways that are advantageous to oneself. I personally believe that our ability to think so deeply is a great gift and freedom. But with great freedom comes great responsibility. Sometimes that freedom can be extremely cumbersome, especially to one's mental state. So during these tumultuous times where I find myself mentally stretched, I lean on the writings and thoughts of ancient stoic philosophy. For those of you that are not familiar with stoic philosophy it is a simple pattern of thoughts and beliefs that tend to lean on the bright side of things. Optimism doesn't always mean things are going to be easy. Throughout history there have been examples of great leaders that have undertaken great suffering and trials without blinking because they could see the end benefit of the journey, or the personal growth they may obtain during such a tumultuous time. There is a positive way to look at things even when the weight and the strain is very great.
“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for human spirit is colored by such impressions.”
-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 5.16
This is an excerpt from a book I read titled “The Daily Stoic.” Authored by Ryan Holliday and Stephen Hanselman.
“If you bend your body into a sitting position every day for a long enough period of time, the curvature of your spine changes. A doctor can tell from a radiograph whether someone sat at a desk for a living. If you shove your feet into tiny, narrow dress shoes each day, your feet begin to take on that form as well.
The same is true for your mind. If you hold a perpetually negative outlook, soon enough everything you encounter will seem negative. Close it off and you’ll become closed-minded. Color it with the wrong thoughts and your life will be dyed the same.”