I read this quote in the book Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and thought I would share it. If you can reserve judgment in effect not trying understand what is in another’s mind you will be much happier. When you fail to observe your own thoughts you will most likely be unhappy.
Put another way, is living a life without introspection will surely lead to negative consequences. Being oblivious to your thoughts leads to bad behavior, poor decisions, and repeated failures.
Epictetus outlines the proper functioning of the mind with this quote:
- Choice – making good choices in thoughts and actions
- Refusal – to steer yourself away from temptation
- Yearning – to be a better person
- Repulsion – of things that are untrue
- Preparation – be prepared for what lies ahead
- Purpose – following your guiding principles
- Assent – understand what you can control and accept what is outside of your control.
Sometimes it is the fear itself that becomes the greatest danger. Don’t let your fear of something allow you to fuck it up. Many have destroyed a good thing and suffered many sleepless nights due to fear, and that very fear led to their downfall.
Put some thought into what you want to be. Sometimes we just wander through this life and are unhappy with the results. Had we taken the time to carefully consider where we are going it would certainly impact our lives in a more positive fashion.
While you might not be able to determine exactly who you want to become at all times, you should at least have a general direction or target in mind. Of course it does no good to have a target without acting upon it.
We are all quick to judge, to be irritated by one dam thing after another. While I am pissed off about a thing that happened, you on the other hand think it is great. Such is the trap that our perception of events leads us to judgments that can make us miserable or pleased.
I think what the stoics preferred was more of a judgment free world. When you think about it, wouldn’t it be a lot less painful to just let shit happen instead of judging the way feel about it in advance.
This is the problem with ego, you think you know so much and then you stop learning. It is not that your knowledge is so vast, but your perception of it is. Even people who have invested their whole lives to master a domain realize the have only scratched the surface.
Do you find yourself caught up in judging something or someone? We all do this wasting countless hours having opinions about all kinds of meaningless crap. Such a waste of precious energy and time.
Make today an opinion free day. See how much you get done and how much better you feel.