Don’t be disturbed – uncomplicate yourself with this brutally honest and timeless advice from the ‘Meditations of Marcus Aurelius’. He was a Stoic trying to use reason to manage his emotions and his advice rings very true today.
1. It is crazy to want the impossible – and impossible for the wicked not to do so.
2. Frightened of change? But what can exist without it?
3. You could leave life right now. Let that guide what you do and say and think.
4. Everything that happens is either endurable or not. If endurable – endure it. If unendurable – stop complaining.
5. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand.
6. You can’t lose the past or the future, how can you lose what you do not have?
7. Don’t assume it’s impossible because you find it hard. If it’s humanly possible, you can do it too.
8. At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed: don’t you see the plants the birds the ants and spiders and bees putting the world in order as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your work as a human being?
9. People are our proper occupation. Our job is to do them good and put up with them.
10. Ambition means tying your well-being to what other people say or do. Self-indulgence is tying it to things that happen to you. Sanity means tying it to your own actions.
11. Practice really hearing what people say. Enter others minds and let them enter yours.
12. To be of use to others is natural. So don’t object to what is useful to you – being of use.
13. Blame no one. Set people straight if you can, if not just repair the damage. No pointless actions.
14. Someone despises me. That’s their problem. Mine is not to do or say anything despicable. Someone hates me. Their problem. Mine is to be patient and cheerful.
15. Matter: how tiny your share of it. Time: how fleeing your allotment of it. Fate: how small a role you play in it.
16. The world is change. Life is opinion. It is all about how you see things.
17. Joy and grief are nothing more than empty smoke. Stop calling things beyond your control ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Limit those words to your own actions.
18. Just do the right thing, cold or warm, tired or rested, despised or honored, dying… or busy with other assignments.
19. If it’s not right don’t do it. If it’s not true don’t say it.
20. Most of what we say and do is unnecessary. Stop and you will find more time and tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, is this really necessary?
21. Be like the rock that waves crash over. It stands unmoved by the raging seas around it.
So Choose Your Thoughts Wisely
22. Everywhere and at every moment you have the choice 1) to accept this event, 2) to treat this person as he should be treated and 3) to not become irrational.
23. To follow nature is to be relaxed, energetic, joyful and serious at once.
24. Keep hold of this and remember it. Each of us only lives now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already or is impossible to see.