Temperance is defined as moderation or self-restraint. Temperance is one of the virtues of positive psychology, including wisdom, courage, humanity and justice.
Each of us, rich or poor, educated or not, have a role to play. Each of us can make a difference: By serving our families. By making smart decisions. By helping our neighbors. By keeping calm. By bringing our network to bear on problems. By sacrificing. By taking care of our health and listening to instructions. By dedicating our life to the tasks that we are skillful at.
Summum Bonum was the expression from Cicero, Rome’s greatest orator. In Latin, it means “the highest good.” And what is the highest good? What is it that we are supposed to be aiming for in this life? To the Stoics, the answer is virtue. They said that everything we face in life was an opportunity to respond with virtue. Even bad situations. Even painful or scary ones. If we act virtuously, they believed, everything else important could follow: Happiness, success, meaning, reputation, honor, love. “The man who has virtue,” Cicero said, “is in need of nothing whatever for the purpose of living well.”
“‘If you seek tranquillity, do less.’ Or (more accurately) do what’s essential—what the logos of a social being requires, and in the requisite way. Which brings a double satisfaction: to do less, better. Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’”
— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Epictetus said, “Curb your desire — don’t set your heart on so many things and you will get what you need.
Temperance is the knowledge that abundance comes from having what is essential.
When things back to Normal!
This has arguably been one of the most devastating and uncertain years of our lifetime. The pandemic and resulting health and economic impacts have caused unprecedented stress on our lives. But is this abnormal? History will tell us that for our world these types of upheaval are not abnormal. Throughout history we have seen wars, economic depressions and various pandemics (similar to the one we have today).
So what makes this situation so abnormal?
Everything that happens is normal. There is nothing unusual about any of this.
Life is life. The only surprise is that we’re surprised.
Sure, you’d rather not be working from home. You’d love to be traveling freely.
But who is to say having or not having these things is “normal?”
And you can’t just wait them out.
Because what you’re waiting to end…is life. It’s now. It’s the present moment.
If we are to live in the present, and the present is what life offers now, we must accept the surroundings and make the utmost effort to be happy in these current circumstances.
Waiting it out to get back to “normal” doesn't exist.
What does exist is the stillness, the sunrise and the opportunity to be your best self today.
This year. Stop putting it off until tomorrow, until Monday, until 2025, waiting for it to just happen. Because it won’t. Someone has to make it happen. Someone has to take control. And that someone is YOU.
One of the main reasons I write this weekly blog is because it helps me collate my thoughts and ideas in a concise manner in which I can reflect and refer. It's shorter than writing a book and having to wait for it to be published, actually it's instantaneous.
Who I Am Following...
I believe in PLAYING THROUGHOUT LIFE, trying and failing over and over at the many things that pique my interest.
He makes reference to Alan Watts.
A British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known for bringing eastern philosophy to the west.
Here are a few of his famous lectures from the 60’s, bundled in the audio book “You’re It.”
Wisdom/ What I'm Reading...
The Power of Positive Thinking
by Norman Vincent Peale
This book was wildly popular, selling at least 5 million copies following its publication, and it continues to be widely read. It has also received a lot of bad publicity because of its use of religious beliefs to solve everyday problems. The author was a pastor and hence uses Christianity to explain certain concepts. Regardless of your beliefs there is a lot to be learned from this book and the “system” Norman Peale teaches.
This book will show you how self-confidence, a focus on positive outcomes, and an appreciation for the people around you are essential to a happy, healthy life.
THE PROBLEM: Too many people are defeated by the everyday problems of life.
SOLUTION: By learning to cast the obstacles from your mind, by refusing to become mentally subservient to them, you can rise above obstacles which ordinarily might defeat you. This book is written to suggest techniques and to give you examples which demonstrate that you do not need to be defeated by anything.
Having faith in yourself is important to a happy and successful life. Self-confidence leads to achievement and self-realization, helping you release your inner power. But not everyone has the power to believe in themselves. Too many people are hampered by feelings of inadequacy, often called an “inferiority complex.”
Cultivate a Peaceful Mind
Living with strain and anxiety is difficult, but living in a state of harmony makes for an easy, calm existence. There are several methods by which you can gain a peaceful mind:
Empty your mind of fear, insecurities, regrets, and other negative emotions.
We often make life more difficult for ourselves by getting agitated and worked up about situations. Work stress, for example, is common. People have difficulty relaxing and this stops them from living a full life. Peale calls this “fuming and fretting.” To gain power and live our lives to the fullest, we have to stop this behavior.
Slowing down. Consciously do everything more easily, slowly, and without pressure. Sitting quietly and relaxing, getting yourself in tune.
Decide to Be Happy
We create our own happiness in this life. Happiness is achievable for us if we apply the right formula. One way of choosing happiness is to cultivate the habit of being happy. When you develop the happiness habit, life becomes more enjoyable every day. Because habits are something you can cultivate, you have the power to create your own happiness.
Expect the Best and Get the Best
When you expect the best in life, you get the best. When you expect the worst, that’s what you get. When you change your mental habits to a state of constant belief instead of doubt, everything becomes possible.
Your thoughts are powerful; they dictate the type of life you lead, the kind of person you are, and the experiences you have.
Positive thoughts create positive outcomes; negative thoughts lead to negative outcomes.
— Winston Churchill