On Starting Over

On Starting Over

The concept of starting over is an often overlooked gift in our fast-paced, goal-oriented society. We are constantly told to strive for success and to never give up, but sometimes we’re reminded that the path to success is not a straight line. There are times when we may need to take a step back, reassess our priorities, and start over in order to achieve our goals.

The Stoics offer a unique perspective on the gift of starting over. According to the Stoics, we should focus on what we can control and let go of what we cannot control. This means that we should not become too attached to the outcome of our actions, but rather focus on the process of striving towards a life of virtuous action.

One of the best examples of starting over can be found in the story of the famous Stoic philosopher, Epictetus. He was born a slave, but through tireless work and determination, he was able to gain his freedom and become a renowned philosopher. Despite the pain and hardship he faced in his life, Epictetus never lost sight of his goals and passion for writing and thinking. When he first became a slave, he probably had no idea that he would still be talked about as one of the world’s greatest philosophers some 2000 years later. 

If you have endured hardship or obstacles this year, remember that life is not a steady and predictable path. By focusing on what we can control and accepting what is beyond our control, we can find peace and contentment, even in the face of adversity. By living moment to moment and only focusing our energy on the task that is right in front of us, we have the opportunity to ‘start over’ again and again in each moment and to keep moving forward. Whether you have succeeded or failed previously, the past is done. The only thing that matters is what you do now.

Have a Wonderful Holiday season!

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
—Marcus Aurelius