Lukas Z's Blog

What Precedes and Follows

Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, says about our goals and dreams: “In every affair consider what precedes and follows, and then undertake it. Otherwise you will begin with spirit; but not having thought of the consequences, when some of them appear you will shamefully desist.”*

I suppose this is very good advice. Something that Jordan Peterson may say.

And yet, and yet.. how often have people succeeded at something because they overestimated their odds (and underestimated the difficulties)?

Perhaps luckily, they weren’t very imaginative and didn’t know what else to try. Perhaps they werent very impulsive, and their problems weren’t enough to trigger a flight reponse in them. Or they were just very stubborn. In any case, they sticked around. They tried some more and, eventually, everything worked out in their favor. And they got the treasure.

Sometimes what reads like disadvantages can be just what is required.

* = Link to a translation of the Enchiridion by Epictetus See paragraph 29 for the quote mentioned here.

P.S.: You can follow me on Twitter.