Premediatio Malorum

#20 - On Being A Stoic Prepper | Maya Angelou

Reflection ✏️

Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in-between.

- Quote by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is not a classic Stoic, but damn, there are so many good parallels to Stoicism in this quote. Let’s break it down.

She talks about hoping for the best, which is about staying optimistic. I’d argue that ties into the principle of Summum Bonum. Because it is better for everyone around you for you to be positive and engaging. But this is also Amor Fati, as you embrace whatever comes and always work towards a better future within your power.

Preparing for the worst, of course, is Premeditation Malorum. You should look ahead and identify potential risks and challenges along the way. Otherwise, Murphy’s Law will probably get you. When you are prepared, nothing can touch you, and therefore, you will not be phased by potential set backs or hardship along the way. It will require you to moderate yourself, since preparation takes time away from other more pleasant things. But being able to mitigate hardship is an excellent reward.

If dealing with your circumstances ever gets too overwhelming, the Stoics practiced a “self-retreat”. It’s called The Inner Citadel. A place within yourself into which you can retreat if life is hammering away at you. Within yourself you can replenish, calm down, and draw strength, by means of detaching from the world around you for a minute. This will also help condition your brain to disassociate from adverse events and not take circumstances to heart. Over time, you will gain the ability to become indifferent at will, through this type of meditation.

Learning 💡

Stay calm and indifferent in face of adversity by taking a step back.

Stay positive, as how you react to your surroundings & emotions is on you.

Be prepared to face adversity.

Have the courage to do the right thing and moderate yourself today to be able to deal with adversity when it comes. (Courage, Justice, & Temperance)


Now I’d love to hear from you!

What situation have you dealt with where you found yourself preparing for the worst? What did you do?

Or maybe you have another great quote regarding Premeditatio Malorum? Don’t hesitate to submit it via this form 📝

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