complaining is futile

complaining is futile

“Everything that happens is either endurable or not. If it’s endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining. If it’s unendurable… then stop complaining. Your destruction will mean its end as well. Just remember: you can endure anything your mind can make endurable, by treating it as in your interest to do so. In your interest, or in your nature.” 

― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 10.3

“Don’t be overheard complaining…Not even to yourself.” 

― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.9

Since our death can happen anytime and we never truly know when it will come, we need to live our lives in the best way we can, strive to be more productive and become the best versions of ourselves. Along with that, we need to learn to let it go and become adaptable with regard to the events in our daily lives, meetings with people and other activities that take away our time, as even these time taking and seemingly irrelevant activities are happening for a reason. 

Complaining is futile and a big waste of time. Letting ourselves be annoyed by external factors just robs us of our precious time and energy that could be spent living. 

For instance, even though Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius didn’t like having to hold court, he recognized it as his duty to act in accordance with the grand plan logos had designed for him. Even though he hated small talk and superficial arguments in court, he was always open to them with a smile on his face because he truly believed that he should honor his responsibilities and not spend a moment of his short and fleeting life begrudging them. On the occasions that he felt overwhelmed and wanted to give up, he mustered the courage within him and got back on his feet because he didn’t want others to suffer from his unwillingness and complaints or a court that didn’t function properly. He only needed to remind himself of his role as an emperor and an active component of the logos to get himself doing again and fulfill his duties.

PS: If you enjoyed reading this passage and are inclined to learn the essential tools and strategies of Stoicism in these uncertain and difficult times, I encourage you to read my eBook Daily Stoicism which is the third book in The Daily Learner series. Through this book, you can be in tune with the Stoic philosophy on a daily basis as you face the challenges of everyday life with practical wisdom and inner fortitude. The wisdom of great philosophers such as Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius as well as modern authors such as Ryan Holiday and Donald Robertson has been distilled in a form that is easy to digest and consume (even if you’re not a reader!).  The condensed timeless knowledge in these meditations will guide you in navigating through the complexities that come with modern living, and help you in your quest to live a virtuous and meaningful life, especially in this global health crisis.