Fear is often our most formidable enemy to living a good life. A life where fear is our predominant thought is truly not worth living. What are you afraid of? The fear of not being good enough, of not meeting some deadline, or is your fear preventing you from making changes in your life?
Whatever it is you fear, it is fucking up what you could be, preventing you from living the life that you dream about. Start today and do something that you normally wouldn’t do, something that is a bit uncomfortable. Start chipping away at that mountain of fear that you have built up in your mind.
It is often the case in life that we are given great things and sometimes things are taken away from us. This quote by Marcus Aurelius reminds us that we should not get to excited by by either the the receiving or the taking away.
It is after all temporary, such things as our health, work, wealth, relationships, and our very existence. Be gracious when things go your way and act the same when things leave you.
This is a very interesting quote by Seneca, who reminds us that the difficulties that you face in your life are actually a blessing. All the great people throughout time were great because of what they had to overcome. Think of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King jr., Nelson Mandela, and Ghandi. They are considered great because what they achieved involved overcoming incredible obstacles. It was their struggles that made them great, even in some cases paying the ultimate price with the loss of their life.
The stoics believed that the struggle, misfortune, test of character, or whatever you want to call it are necessary in achieving great things. So next time you let yourself think, life is hard, or I can’t deal with this shit any longer; just know this is really an opportunity for growth. Think back on your life and all the things you have overcome. Did it break you, or did provide a sense of pride and accomplishment?
Be proud of all the shit you overcame, and confident in your ability to deal with the challenges you will face in the future.
When you think about it, life is actually lived one moment at a time. Looking ahead to those challenges you might encounter in the future only fills your mind with anxiety. Focus on what you can do now, in the present moment, and you will be fine. You may not be happy, but your life will at least be tolerable.
Often the best prescription for your troubled mind is a nice long walk. Some of our best ideas come during walking. This was true for people like Seneca who lived during the time of the Roman empire, and it is still true today. You don’t need an expensive vacation, a therapist, drugs or alcohol; you simply need to open the door and take a walk.
Sounds way to simple, to easy, and instead you would rather agonize over your situation. We tell ourselves we don’t have time, I have to much to do, and we dig yet a deeper hole.
Fuck it! Go take a walk.
It is a measure of your maturity when you open yourself up to feedback regarding what you have spoken, wrote, or acted. Our ego fights against any response that doesn’t fit in with our view of the world. When you think you know it all, when you close your mind to the ideas of others, you cease to learn.
Be angry, criticize all the stupid people, seek pleasure, suffer pain, continue to think you are better than everyone else, and use your ambition to have more or be more. This is what most of us do every day, unconsciously.
Marcus Aurelius offers an alternative to this unconscious state. The alternative is you have a choice to think and act otherwise. This possibility exists, but requires you to take control of your thoughts.
What will you do today?