“I tell you, you only have to learn to live like the healthy person does… living with complete confidence. What confidence? The only one worth holding, in what is trustworthy, unhindered, and can’t be taken away — your own reasoned choice.”EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 3.26.23b-24
It’s interesting how often The Daily Stoic keeps coming back to reasoned choice. I suppose that’s because it’s important! And it should give you confidence, as well.
Here’s why: your reasoned choice is how you can be truly powerful. And I’m talking about real, inner power — the type that gives you mastery over yourself and how you react to the events of the day. (Not that silly fake power that everyone seems to be chasing.)
Further, you are essentially invincible when you put your reasoned choice to good use. Stick and stones may break your bones, as they say… but you can never be truly defeated when you’re using your rational mind.
That’s the essence of today’s quote. Reasoned choice is the only thing that’s worth having any confidence in, because it’s the only thing that can’t be taken away. Everything else is subject to the whims of fate, and the ravages of time. Only your choice is always available to you, no matter what happens, and regardless of how old you grow.
That’s why you should be confident.