Chelsea, Meet Stoicism
Donald Trump’s triumph in the 2016 election drove Chelsea Handler into a depraved descent. Weed and depression. Psychiatrists. Broken.
Not because of anything that happened to her. She didn’t lose her home. No one close to her died because of the election.
I’m pretty sure Ms. Handler doesn’t read Hennessy’s View, but you do. So, for you, I’ll tell you how to avoid losing your mind when reality violates your expectations.
Are you ready?
Grab a pen and paper. Write this down. Study it. Never forget it. Remember this forever and every.
The secret to never losing your mind when reality violates your expectations is . . .
HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS
Amazing, isn’t it.
Master negotiator Jim Camp calls this “blank slating” in his outstanding, counterculture book Start with No: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don’t Want You to Know
Your ability to blank slate is directly related to your ability to rid yourself of expectations and assumptions, two very bad words in my system of negotiation. Real taboos. By nature, we humans are chock-full of expectations and assumptions. As a negotiator, you must learn to recognize them and set them aside. They have less than zero value to you as a serious negotiator. Your Positive Expectations Are Killers
The Stoics knew this, too. So does St. Augustine. And the Stoics and St. Augustine go further than Mr. Camp by telling us how to have no expectations.
First, from the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, The Good Life Handbook: Epictetus' Stoic Classic Enchiridion:
Don’t wish for things to happen the way you would like them to. Rather, welcome whatever happens. This is the path to peace, freedom, and happiness.
Welcome whatever comes. Expect some outcome, not a particular outcome. “The Blues will win the Stanley Cup, or some other team will.”
And, from St. Augustine’s Petitions:
May I die to myself and live in Thee. May I receive whatever happens as from Thee.
Whatever comes, comes from God. God is all good. Therefore, whatever comes is good.
Chelsea Handler can probably afford large amounts of weed and many hours of psychiatric counseling. For those, like me, who cannot, I’ll stick with the Saints and the Stoics. No expectations. Whatever comes, comes from God and is good.
It’s all good.