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Practice and the Real Thing

One of the practices of the Stoic philosophy is negative visualization. The idea is to think through a possible unpleasant situation while everything is still fine. Thinking the situation through in great detail and in particular, what you would do, allows you to be prepared. While we hope for the best, we ought to be prepared for the worst.

For the last five years, I have had a particular situation in my head that I think has a significant chance of occuring. I have therefore used this situation several times when practicing a negative visualization exercise.

Today I received information that may indicate that the situation could come to pass before the end of the year. Despite the practices, it is still uncomfortable to think about. I do think that I am doing better than if I hadn't practiced, but it is certainly not the same feelings when you truly believe it is imminent.

If course the whole point is to be prepared and to think through your actions. Wallowing in thought is useless. Deciding on the best course of action and carrying those actions out is much more useful. I suppose I had better get off this chair then.

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