I read a fascinating description of stoicism in Nassim Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness.
It took me some time to get it, but eventually I got it:
“Having control over randomness can be expressed in the manner in which one acts in the small and the large. Recall that epic heroes were judged by their actions, not by the results.
No matter how sophisticated our choices, how good we are at dominating the odds, randomness will have the last word. There is nothing wrong and undignified with emotions, we are cut to have them. What is wrong is not following the heroic or, at least, the dignified path.
That is what stoicism truly means. It is the attempt by man to get even with probability. Stoicism has rather little to do with the stiff-upper-lip notion that we believe it means. The stoic is a person who combines the qualities of wisdom, upright dealing, and courage. The stoic will thus be immune from life’s gyrations as he will be superior to the wounds from some of life’s dirty tricks.”
We will always get things that will challenge us, no matter the circumstances, or the emotions invoked, that is choosing the right choices and decisions.
Do the right things irrespective of the circumstances:
“There is nothing wrong and undignified with emotions, we are cut to have them. What is wrong is not following the heroic or, at least, the dignified path.“
It reminded me of the power of dedicating ourselves to the process and embracing equanimity with regards to the outcome.