May 17, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts ||

Don’t Seek Admiration, Be Well-Grounded (Epictetus’ Discourses In Plain English 1.21)

Key idea of this discourse

It is the mark of a well-grounded person not to look for outside approval.

Be well-grounded

If you are well-grounded in life, you don’t need to look beyond it.

“What is it you want, my friend?”
“I am happy if my desires and aversions are in line with nature. And, if I exercise impulse to act or not to act and practise purpose, design and assent the same way.”
“Then why do you walk around as though you have swallowed a spit?”
“I want everyone I meet to admire me and, as they follow after me, say, ‘What a great philosopher!’”
“Who are these people that you want to be admired by? Aren’t they the same ones whom you used to call crazy? Well, then, do you want to be admired by madmen?”

Think about this

When someone is properly grounded in life, they shouldn’t have to look outside themselves for approval. Discourses I.21.1 Epictetus/Robert Dobbin