The Power of Indifference
“Learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference” - Marcus Aurelius
By modern definitions, being indifferent can have a negative connotation attached to it. It represents having no opinion and in some cases being indifferent with life means you choose to not have control over your decisions.
To a stoic, being indifferent and thinking indifferently is actually a powerful tool used to aid in encountering everyday life’s struggles. In the teachings of stoicism, there is good, evil, and indifferent. Indifferent is neither good or evil, but just is. To explain a little bit more, take everyday expectations. When you make a decision to go out and you are excited to do so, after getting ready you go to your car and it won’t start.
This can immediately put a damper on things but to have an indifferent mindset to understand that while the outcome was not what you want, it is good either way. Sure, you now have to get your car checked out which can be an inconvenience but you’ve saved money by not going out and instead will be taking care of something important.
You are not in pain, but you are not thrilled either, and as you realize the situation, it is good either way. Using this tool is very powerful and being able to remain indifferent in difficult situations can help you understand the greater picture and make better decisions.
It is good practice to throw this thought process to a mental mentor as well, when indifferent is being practiced and you are stuck with a fork in the road, your mentor and outside perspective can help you understand the next steps.