The thirty-third part of Epictetus’ Handbook contains a wealth of advice for living a good life. It is the longest part of the Encheiridion and gives an overview of best practices in a wide range of areas, particularly in social situations.
For most of us, getting out of bed in the morning is not the easiest part of the day. When you are tucked in under warm and soft sheets, you probably don’t feel like stepping on the cold floor and getting active. Even though you know you should. Don’t worry: Marcus Aurelius has the answer we are all seeking.
We all wish to know what the future holds for us, right? And sometimes, people believe they can predict the future. For ages, people have visited oracles, fortune-tellers, prophets and diviners for advice and a glimpse of their fortune or misfortune. Aside from the question whether they can actually predict the future, Epictetus teaches us how we should deal with fortune-telling.
Do you want to be an athlete? Or a leader? Do you wish you were a popstar or a famous actor? Do you want to become a philosopher? Whatever you want: think carefully about what it takes to get there and what benefits it will give. Think about the sacrifices and about the rewards. This is the main message of paragraph 29 of the Encheiridion.