Epictetus, born a slave in ancient Rome, founded a school of philosophy that became known as Stoicism. To help him overcome the bondage of slavery. An insight that actually helped him gain his freedom was his belief that he could only control two things: his thoughts and his feelings; other things were out of his control. One of his most memorable quotes, pointing to the importance of our internal thoughts and how they impact us, was, We are disturbed not by events, but by the views we take of these events. The relationship between an event and how we feel about the event is our interpretation, namely, the thoughts that intervene between the event and our feelings. Freeing ourselves of this "mental clutter" gives us a lot more positive energy that we can use going forward.