What is the best way to become indifferent?

I am a practicing stoic and have been for many years.

My introduction to stoicism came by way of a book authored by Sharon Lebell in which she translates the work (thoughts, writings) of Epictetus in The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness & Effectiveness.

I cannot recommend the book highly enough.

This has lead me on a ongoing quest to continuously improve the quality of my life by practicing stoic concepts in my daily life. I’m not perfect but I can absolutely see how it has benefited me over the years and I am so grateful for what I have learned along the way.

But I digress.  This post is supposed to be about indifference.  Specifically, it is supposed to be a response to the question that I posted in the title of this post which came from a Stoic Philosophy group that I follow on Facebook.

I feel like learning how to be indifferent to certain things has really been useful to me in a lot of ways.  It’s kind of a twist on the idea of “pick your battles”.  But it goes beyond that because some things really tug at us and aren’t so easy to shrug off.

In those situations, I have several stoic tools in my toolbox to help me move to a place of indifference so I can get on with the rest of my life.  The following is my response to the question that was posted on Facebook.

For me, becoming indifferent is about making a mental note about what I can and cannot control.

The things I cannot control, I “compartmentalize” by envisioning them being in a box somewhere else.

For the things I can control that are still bothersome, I ask myself how my reaction or feelings are helping me. If they aren’t serving me in a good way, I try to redirect my thoughts and feelings to something that is at the very least, a little more helpful.

I could say much more on this topic and perhaps I will in a future podcast episode.

In the meantime, if you are interested in Sharon Lebell’s plain English, modern day interpretation of an old Stoic named Epictetus, you should check out her book on Amazon.

I have given away countless copies over the years so if you order one for yourself, consider ordering 2 or 3 copies because you might find yourself giving away copies to friends, family and colleagues as well.

How do you achieve indifference?


Book club conversation starters

In Episode 18 of the Everbetter Ideas podcast, I talk about conversation starters that I had available on handwritten note cards when I hosted “It’s like book club, but different”.

As I was planning my event, I found several great resources online related to facilitating a book club.  Everything from selecting a great location to what questions to ask to facilitate the discussion.

This is a great resource that helped me come up with my own short list of questions and discussion topics.

I’ll have this list handy for my next book club event!

  1. Talk about the author
  2. Share your overview of the book in 60 seconds or less.
  3. Read an excerpt.
  4. Read the inside or back cover.
  5. Read the reviews.
  6. Talk about how you found the book.  Was it referred to you?
  7. What did you like about the book?
  8. What did you dislike?
  9. If the book were made into a movie, what character would you like to play?
  10. If the book were made into a movie, what actors should be cast into the various roles?
  11. Did this book remind you of anything? Other books? Experiences from your past? Songs? Artwork? People?
  12. Did the book inspire you in any way?
  13. Did you learn anything new reading this book?
  14. Is the story believable?  Does it need to be?
  15. Have you read other books by this author?

Other, non-book discussion topics that could be good ice breakers:

  1. Have you been to a book club before?  Describe that experience.
  2. Have you written or illustrated books?
  3. Would you be interested in writing or illustrating books?
  4. What is your favorite book format (e.g. electronic, paperback, etc.)?
  5. How much reading do you generally do?
  6. What is your favorite genre?
  7. What is your best source for finding new things to read?  Examples: libraries, book stores, online, thrift shops, book swapping with friends.
  8. Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?
  9. When is the last time you went to a library?
  10. When you go to a book store (online or in real life) do you know what you are looking for or do you find yourself browsing titles?

What questions or ice breakers would you add to this list?

P.S. I’d also suggest listening to Episode 17 to hear my thoughts on the Original Social Media.  Book clubs!

Free 7 day meal plan

I have a template for a 7 day meal plan that I’m willing to share for free. It includes examples of meals, snacks and links to recipes.

I can also develop a personalized plan that provides plant based meal ideas to suit your tastes more specifically.

Note that I am not a nutritionist, medical professional, or dietitian. I’m simply sharing tools & meal ideas that work for me.

Send me a message via the contact page to get started!

Offer expires Sunday, November 4, 2018.

Getting started

Welcome to EverBetter Ideas. I’m your host, Kathy Howe.

If you haven’t already done so, I’d encourage you to read the ABOUT page. I think that provides a decent explanation of why I’m here and what you might expect to see if you decide to come back in the future.

I admit that my plans for this are not all that well defined. That’s somewhat intentional as I don’t want to overthink what I might do with this space. Have you heard the phrase “don’t let planning get in the way of progress”? I’m embracing that idea.

I also don’t want to loosely commit to anything that ends up being of no value or interest.

At the very least, this will become a repository of ideas that I consider to be interesting.

At most, I can imagine creating a community for like-minded individuals who want to fresh ideas for an everbetter life. People interested in content, collaboration & conversations.

Do you have ideas that you want to share? Send me a message on the CONTACT page.

Let’s see where we can go with this idea.