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Zarr's Journal


Zarr's Journal

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1 entry this month
 

22:16 Nov 13 2021
Times Read: 47


The answer is often obvious. The necessary response is clear. But we don’t do it. Why?

Why does the much stronger country back down over a matter of principle, giving the bully or the strongman what they want? Why does the witness to corruption not try to put a stop to it? Why does the politician refuse to speak up about the mistake they believe they’re about to make?

Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, the courageous whistleblower (and if that weren’t enough, Purple Heart recipient), talked recently on the Daily Stoic podcast about what he calls “self-deterrence.” Even though we know what we ought to do, we talk ourselves out of it. We think only of the potential negative consequences and, in the process, forget not only our obligations and duties but lose confidence in our abilities to push through and make things work.

This was something Marcus Aurelius struggled with too. One could argue that much of Meditations is his effort to work through those struggles and to make sure he always did what was right. We all have doubts. We all have fears. We all wonder what if. But you have to remind yourself, he said, that you can meet tomorrow’s problems with the same tools you met yesterday’s difficulties with. “Remind yourself what you’ve been through,” he said, “and what you’ve had the strength to endure.” You have to believe in yourself. You have to have courage.

Don’t self-deter. Don’t let the actions of the enemy, of the mob, of naysayers and intimidators work on you or against what is right. Don’t let them make you overthink this. Don’t let them get in your head...and get you to do their work for them.

Be brave. Do the right thing, as Marcus said. The rest doesn’t matter.The Daily Stoic


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