The aphoristic, short, sharp and punchy style of writing that makes so much of Shakespeare’s writing meaningful and powerful is something he shared with the Stoics, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca.
All three of them wrote about not fearing that which is uncertain, taking responsibility for and expressing reason and accepting the things that you can’t change. And whatever is out of your control, well, a reasoning mind will leave it exactly there: out of mind.
And worst case scenarios rarely ever come true. Dealing with the possible misfortunes of the future when they haven’t even happened (and might not) is a waste of the most valuable thing that we never get back: time.
There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, that can be dreamed up in our philosophy.
– From Shakespeare’s Hamlet
We suffer more often in imagination than in reality
– Seneca from On Providence
…Surely it were better to use power and be a free man, than to hanker like a slave and a beggar that is not in your power.
– Marcus Aurelius from Meditations