Often Question Your Own Thoughts

“There are three areas in which the person who would be wise and good must be trained. The first has to do with desires and aversions-that person may never miss the mark in desires nor fall into what repels them. The second has to do with impulses to act and not to act-and more broadly, with duty-that a person may act deliberately for good reasons and not carelessly. The third has to do with freedom from deception and composure and the whole area of judgment, the assent our mind gives to its perceptions. Of these areas, the chief and most urgent is the first which has to do with the passions, for strong emotions arise only when we fail in our desires and aversions.”

-Epictetus, Discourses, 3.2.1-3a

I shall boil this passage down into four key sentences.

Pursue what you most want to do in life without exception.

Be thoughtful and strategically act with reasoned intent.

The ability to take in all available information and make clear judgments not predicated off you or anyone else’s present emotion is important.

Be skeptical and ofter question your own thoughts and reasoning.

I highly recommend you read the book: Superforecasting by Daniel Gardner and Philip E. Tetlock. This book truly changed the way I think and gave me the ability to much more accurately draw conclusions from given information. Philip and Daniel have done fascinating work over the years and the book was incredibly well written.

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