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Epictetus and the Good Life

            When asked the true definition of the "good life," everyone has their own version of it in accordance to their values and beliefs. According to Epictetus, in order to have a good life, we must master our desires and achieve tranquility among the disorder in the world. In other words, Epictetus believes that we should be complacent with the obstacles that we face instead of constantly desiring something better. "The Wolf of Wall Street's," Jordan Belfort is a prime example of someone that is constantly desiring more in life and going great lengths to get it. With both visions of the good life being complete opposites, the vast differences between Epictetus and Belfort's beliefs are clear. With these differences in mind, Epictetus would have a difficult time accepting Belfort's vision of a good life.
             Epictetus claims that in order to live a good life, we must master our desires and know how to control them. He believes that we must accept the events that are presented to us instead of going against nature. In today's world, we are led to believe that the only way to live a good life is to have the outside world and the people around us meet our desires. In contrast, Epictetus believes that we should want the things that happen to us. He states, "Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well" (Epictetus 13). With this new mindset we will never be disappointed in life and we are in complete control of our desires. .
             Similarly, Epictetus explains that we also need to practice detachment; if we are fond of something or someone, try distancing yourself from it. With the practice of detachment, we will not be disappointed when something or someone is taken away from us. He says, "In the case of everything attractive or useful or that you are fond of, remember to say just what sort of things it is, beginning with the least little things," (Epictetus 12).

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