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You Don’t Have To Have An Opinion

We have the power to hold no opinion about a thing and to not let it upset our state of mind—for things have no natural power to shape our judgments.
—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.52

Here’s a funny exercise: think about all the upsetting things you don’t know about—stuff people might have said about you behind your back, mistakes you might have made that never come to your attention, things you dropped or lost without even realizing it. What’s your reaction? You don’t have one because you don’t know about it.

In other words, it is possible to hold no opinion about a negative thing. You just need to cultivate that power instead of wielding it accidentally. Especially when having an opinion is likely to make us aggravated. Practice the ability of having absolutely no thoughts about something—act as if you had no idea it ever occurred. Or that you’ve never heard of it before. Let it become irrelevant or nonexistent to you. It’ll be a lot less powerful this way.

* Source: The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

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