Don’t Complain About Troubles, Avoid Them

Welcome back to Mid-Week Meditations , Lifehacker’s weekly dip in the pool of stoic wisdom and a guide to using its waters to meditate and improve your life.

This week’s choice belongs to Marcus Aurelius. He thinks you are wasting time trying to figure out what is bothering you.

This cucumber is bitter, so throw it away! There are thorns in the way, so stay away! Enough said. Why bother with the existence of trouble?

Meditation , 8.50

What does it mean

Basically, stop wasting time trying to understand and deal with known annoyances, and just move on. Is the food bad? Don’t eat this. Don’t want to walk through the thorns? Take a different route. If you devote more time to such things, then, as Aurelius put it, you would become a “laughing stock” for other Stoics or “researchers of nature.”

What to take from there

Complaining about little things isn’t worth your time. Stop crying about what’s annoying you and do one of two things: avoid it or fix it (if possible). Is the office too loud? Buy noise canceling headphones. Hate how far your sofa is from the TV? Move closer. Are you cold? Apply a few more coats. Don’t chew on the metaphorical expression “bitter cucumber” or talk about how much you dislike it (especially on the Internet). Some things will always get in your way. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and just find a way to avoid it. Why waste your life walking through hardships?

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