The way I see this is the following. Nothing in Stoicism says that you cannot have preferences. You can prefer situation A to B. Those preferences should be determined in a rational way. So "I prefer cake to brocolli" would be an example of a completely emotional/instinctive/impulsive preference, which is not very virtuous, since you are putting short term feelings over your own health. Whereas "I prefer to have friends than not" is a more rational preference. Although some of the motivation is instinctive/emotional (people want to have company), having friends is something that will be rewarding to you in the long run and there are not many downsides to it. So, you have a rational motivation to pursue things and do what is best. Still, whatever the outcome, Stoicism tells you that you shouldn't cry or complain of it, you have to accept it, but at the same time that doesn't mean that you cannot act to change it.

/r/Stoicism Thread