Peace and welcome to PRSPCTV! For those unaware, PRSPCTV (short for perspective) is a monthly blog series I began to help people understand quotes that are sometimes difficult to understand. The goal is to break down these quotes, help people gain a deeper understanding which can then lead to people applying it to their lives and become better selves. By the way, my name is Cesar; owner and founder of a small, Las Vegas based lifestyle brand called Elevated Thoughts Clothing. Hope you enjoy the read; let me know what you think in the comments below!
"You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength." - Epictetus
So, what does it mean to have 'power' over your mind? Why would you want to have power over your mind? Where will strength come from once you realize power over your mind?
The Breakdown - Part I
"You have power over your mind, not outside events."
In Ancient Chinese philosophy, it's believed that we have two types of minds - the thinking mind and the observing mind. The thinking mind is the part of the mind that, well, thinks. You cannot control these thoughts, whether negative or positive. They come and go randomly throughout the day. According to research conducted by Queen's University in Canada and published by Nature Communications in July 2020, psychologists found that the average person has over 6,000 thoughts per day. Crazy, right? The observing mind is the part of the mind that observes what you're thinking. I guess you can say it's the conscious part of the mind; it gives us the ability to register what it is we're thinking of; whether that particular thought was negative or positive, good or bad, true or not, and so on.
What does Chinese philosophy have to do with this quote from a stoic philosopher?
Well, as we should know, everything is interconnected. Our bodies along with every living thing in this plane of existence: from the plants and the earth, to the sun and the cosmos.
Power comes into play when you realize that thoughts are just that: thoughts. It is with our observing mind that we tend to magnify and manifest our thoughts; both negative and positive. Our choices will be heavily affected by our influences and experiences throughout our lives; but ultimately, it's your choice what thoughts you want to magnify.
Outside events are what happens in our lives externally; shit that happens in the physical world. Some events are traumatic; some are unforgettable. Regardless of what happens, you have to acknowledge that you cannot change those events. The infamous Stoic philosopher Epictetus said it best: "it's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters". Realizing that we can't change what happens to us will definitely help; not necessarily move on or forget about it, but more so learn to grow from it. We always have a choice to allow events to either deter us or choose to grow from it.
The Breakdown - Part II
"Realize this and you will find strength"
The second sentence from this quote is self explanatory; by realizing that you have power over your mind and not outside events, you'll find strength from within.
We're not fully aware of our limits or capabilities until we reach that peak. You'll find strength when you least expect it and when you do find it, practice keeping that strength and having power over your mind every day. Do not get sucked into negative thoughts, because thoughts are the early stages of manifestation. We are the dependent variable on whether those thoughts become manifested into reality. Through daily repetition, your mental strength will become resilience over time. By implementing this into your daily life, it'll turn into a habit and ultimately become a part of your character.
Hope you enjoyed this read, thanks for tuning in to this month's PRSPCTV blog series. Remember to stay safe and stay elevated; peace and love ✌🏼