Most thought leaders teach us to focus on the positive, such as the “Law of Attraction” to bring good things our way. But are there benefits to thinking about what bad or negative things that could happen? Ryan Holiday, Author of “The Obstacle Is The Way,” and “Stillness Is The Key” hosts a videocast “The Daily Stoic” and addresses this very thing and states it has been practiced for thousands of years.
Ryan states that the stoics would practice, Premeditatio Malorum (“the pre-meditation of evils”) which is a Stoic exercise of imagining things that could go wrong or be taken away from us. Now, I know this sounds like a downer, but the purpose of this exercise would be if you thought about what might possibly go wrong then you would be more prepared if it did. It was not a practice that they used to consume their mind with worry or negative thoughts. They just wanted to live a more prepared life for both good and bad.
When you think about this it is a pretty good practice. How many times have you said, “How could this have happened?” “What did I do to deserve this?” If you really want to be real about life you need to look at both sides of the coin, but what you need to remember it do not dwell on the negative just know that it could happen.
In this short video below Ryan gives a brief explanation of “Premeditatio Malorum.”
Good food for thought….