A true stoic is indifferent to life’s events. They are indifferent in that there is no good nor is there bad, they are indifferent to what happens. The concept is that if we start assigning good and bad to things outside of our control we will inevitably be disappointed. We will struggle to find happiness because so much lies outside of our control.
The idea of the stoic archer applies to so much of what we do. The idea is that an archer can practice, the archer can aim, and he or she can work on their patience in shooting the arrow. However, once the arrow is shot they can no longer control its flight. Where the arrow flies is completely up to fate. The wind can and will blow the arrow in whatever direction it desires. The target of which you are shooting at can move. These are things outside of your control. You can only control the arrow up to the point you let it go. The same applies to your workouts or fitness. Too often we worry about so much out of our control. We worry about how fast someone else is going, we worry about how hot it is outside, we worry about someone else’s range of motion. We are constantly worrying about everything outside of our control when we should be worrying about what is. We should be concerned with our efforts, our breathing, our range of motion. If we had a poor workout, what can we do next time to better prepare for that movement or workout? Can we fix our diet? Can we fix our mobility? These are things that are in our control and we should be focused on those things. If someone is cheating, don’t worry you can’t control that, but you can increase your own abilities to beat that person even if they are cheating. This also applies to your everyday life. You can not control whether or not you get that job but you can control your preparation for the interview. You can not control the weather but you can be prepared for whatever weather patterns might be coming in. You can’t control traffic but you can control if you leave earlier to not have to rush to where you are going. These are the things you can control and these are the only things that matter.
We spend too much of our lives worried about controlling the uncontrollable. We can not and will not be able to control everything but if we just focus on the small things within our control you will be surprised about how much it changes your outlook on unfortunate events. Did you do everything within your power? If the answer is yes, that is all you need to worry about. If you can make a change to make something better than do it and stop worrying about everyone else. Be like the archer, you can prepare, aim, and remain steady but once the arrow is shot than let fate or God take control.