This post is going to make me sound like a grumpy, 90-year old curmudgeon, but I don’t care.
I was reading an article on Vogue.com and I came across the following sentence: “Burned out from her own career in technology and the results of the 2016 election…”
I’m sorry… burned out from a career in technology and the results of an election that – as a single individual – you can do nothing to control or change? Please, give me a fucking break. Is this what we’ve become?
I think us privileged, entitled, first-world millennials could do with putting things into perspective.
Things that you can be burned out from:
- Walking from Syria to Europe with your wife and children, with all your worldly possessions in a wheelbarrow because ISIS tried to kill you, rape your wife, and burned your house to the ground, only to get to Europe and be put into a detention centre
- Trekking 18 miles every day through the African desert and hoping you don’t get malaria just in order to get some dirty drinking water
- Being in a relationship where your significant other not only mentally abuses you, but actually kicks the living shit out of you when you return home from your second job because you need to support three kids
- Laying your life on the line for months at a time as a member of the Armed Forces, deep behind enemy lines with rationed food, no beds, 50kg+ on your back and under constant threat of being killed by the enemy
- Living with an advanced form of cancer knowing that at any moment you could be leaving your loved ones behind forever
- Etc, etc
I often think about scenarios like this whenever I think that things are getting on top of me. It’s a reality check. Am I really in a bad situation or am I just whining?
More importantly: is this situation something that I can control or something that is out of my control? This is what stoicism has taught me and I’m thankful for it every single day.
You can’t control it: then let it go. Forget about it entirely. What’s the point otherwise?
You can control it: make a detailed and realistic plan of action that will get you out of said situation, then execute on it immediately.
Doing these two simple steps will eradicate huge, whopping great swathes of the stress that you built up and that you think is ending your life as you know it.
Y’all motherfuckers need stoicism.