Strategies Preserve Your Tranquility
Part Six

Be Mindful Not To Adopt Other People’s Negative Views
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with”. The Stoics advocated “avoid befriending people whose values have been corrupted, for fear that their values will contaminate ours. That we should instead seek, as friends, people who share similar values and importantly, people who are doing a better job than we are of living in accordance with these values – and that our time with them should be an opportunity to learn from them.”
Similarly Seneca warned, vices are contagious. And in particular, if we continually associate with people who have unwholesome desires, opinions and actions, there is a very real threat that we will soon discover that we have adopted these habits for ourselves – and thereby our tranquility is disrupted.

Other people’s views, opinions, habits and troubles can be (are) contagious. Don’t sabotage yourself by unwittingly adopting negative, unproductive attitudes, or a penchant for colourful ugly rubber footwear, through not only your associations with others, but also other influences such as the quality and quantity of news & social media content that you choose to watch, listen to, and read.

It is solely up to us to identify, and take charge of the things that distract us, that causes us conflict, and triggers us to choose actions that are contrary to the vitality of our mind and body. This, I believe, can only be successfully done if we soberly nurture our tranquility, by consistently satiating ourselves through the daily actions that both replenish and strengthenour physical and mental resilience.

If we’re expensing what precious little time & finite energy we have with people, either in the coal-face or via our devices – who we allow – to drain us of our discipline to choose what is best for us, then our innate aspirations to seek our authentic happiness will be continually, and frustratingly, kiboshed. 

“You can only be one person.
You have two essential choices.
Either you can set yourself to developing your reason, cleaving to truth, or you can hanker after externals. The choice is yours and yours alone. You can either put your skills towards internal work or lose yourself to externals, which is to say, be a person of wisdom – developing ones self-awareness – or follow the common ways of the mediocre.”

Authentic happiness is always, always independent of external conditions.



Next: Cultivate The Ability To Observe

Strategies To Preserve Your Tranquility: Part 1
Strategies To Preserve Your Tranquility: Part 2

Strategies To Preserve Your Tranquility: Part 3
Strategies To Preserve Your Tranquility: Part 4
Strategies To Preserve Your Tranquility: Part 5