Finding Happiness the Epictetus Way #7: Learning from Every Event & Person & Everything else Too!!!


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Epictetus says : With every accident, ask yourself what abilities you have for making a proper use of it. If you are in pain, you will find fortitude. If you hear unpleasant language, you will find patience.

Commentary: If we become a student of life then all people (however annoying) & all events & circumstances (however trying) can become our teachers. In life there are no mistakes only lessons.  

I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, & kindness from the unkind, yet I’m ungrateful to these teachers.~Khalil Gibran

The only real mistakes are from which we learn nothing.

When you lose, don’t lose the lessons.

Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.  ~Rita Mae Brown

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.  ~Chinese Proverb

Experience is what causes a person to make new mistakes instead of old ones.  

There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience.  ~Laurence J. Peter

The road to wisdom?
– Well, it’s plain
and simple to express:
and err
and err again
but less
and less
and less.
~Piet Hein


The following reminders from the book “If Life is a Game, These are the Rules” by Cherie Carter-Scott are useful in learning from everything in life 

When you were born, you didn’t come with an owner’s manual  these guidelines make life work better.

~ You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “Life on Planet Earth”. Every person or incident is the Universal Teacher.

~There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of experimentation. “Failures” are as much a part of the process as “success.”

~A lesson is repeated until learned. It is presented to you in various forms until you learn it — then you can go on to the next lesson.

 ~If you don’t learn easy lessons, they get harder. External problems are a precise reflection of your internal state. When you clear inner obstructions, your outside world changes. Pain is how the universe gets your attention.

 ~You will know you’ve learned a lesson when your actions change. Wisdom is practice. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing.

~You always get what you want. Your subconscious rightfully determines what energies, experiences, and people you attract — therefore, the only foolproof way to know what you want is to see what you have. There are no victims, only students.


A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her. 
~David Brinkley

Enemies teach us inner strength, courage and determination. ~Dalai Lama

In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.~Dalai Lama


Jon Kabat-Zinn has written a wonderful book ‘Letting Everything Become Your Teacher’

‘Yes, there actually is a way to let everything become your teacher, to let life itself, and everything that unfolds within, Whether you are trying to learn patience, cope with pain, deal with the enormous stress and challenges of the age we live in, improve your relationships, or free yourself from destructive emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.’


In Fact a wise person is open minded & lets everyone be his/her teacher. There is this cute little email ‘What you can learn from a Dog’ (Yes dogs are great teachers too):

1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

4. When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.

5. Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.

6. Take naps and stretch before rising.

7. Run, romp, and play daily.

8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

9. Be loyal.

10. If what you want lies burried, dig until you find it.

11. When someone is having a bad day, be silent. Sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

12. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

13. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

14. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

15. No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout…. run right back and make friends

16. Delight in the simple joys of a long walk.



September 16, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Greek Philosophers, Happiness, Inspiration, Meaning of Life, My lifestyle, My Values, Quotations, Wisdom.


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