The Enchiridion - Part 13

Epictetus gives us a warning about some things to watch out for:

If you would improve, submit to be considered without sense and foolish with respect to externals. Wish to be considered to know nothing; and if you shall seem to some to be a person of importance, distrust yourself.

By giving up the persuit of externals (power, wealth, status) you will appear foolish to those who persue them. I particularly like the second sentence: if people do not think you are foolish, examine yourself because you may be only playing at Stoicism.

For you should know that it is not easy both to keep your will in a condition comformable to nature and to secure external things: but if a man is careful about the one, it is an absolute necessity that he will neglect the other.

The persuit of externals is diametrically opposed to self improvememnt. If you are aquiring wealth, it does not necessarily mean you are persuing it; but it should trigger some self-reflection.

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