Premeditatio Malorum means the premeditation of the evils and troubles that might lie ahead.
Now that may seem contrary to Seneca’s idea that “we suffer more in imagination than in reality.”
Premeditatio Malorum is about being prepared, not worrying.
“Today it is you who threaten me with these terrors; but I have always threatened myself with them, and have prepared myself as a man to meet man’s destiny. If an evil has been pondered beforehand, the blow is gentle when it comes.” – Seneca
I have no issue sitting down and thinking about what might happen and preparing. It’s the letting it go, knowing I have a plan in place, that’s the part I struggle with.
I perseverate on what on the worst case scenario, and I become anxious about it.
That is the running narrative in my head.
I need to learn to focus on the plan and not the troubles themselves.
That is how you balance Seneca’s two ideas.
Think about what bad could happen and plan for it. Don’t make the evils and troubles worse than they might be in your imagination.
Know that you can handle anything that is thrown at you. Because you are ready.
“You can read Seneca a hundred times and think you’re now prepared for calamity, but that’s just knowledge disguised as understanding.” – Lawrence Yeo, More to That blog
It doesn’t matter what you know if you can’t put it into action when you need to.
Think of what might happen, prepare for it, don’t imagine that it will be worse than it could be, and let it go.