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20 Short Ancient Principles For Modern Living

Ancient civilizations understood that principles govern human behavior. Remembering our common origin, reconnecting with our inner selves, and finding meaning wherever we go are a few ancient principles for human existence discovered by some of the wisest people on earth throughout human history.

The more we strive to understand how these principles apply to our modern lives, the greater the sense of urgency we feel about them becoming a foundation for our existence once again.


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Everyone wants a good life. No one wants to live a miserable existence, and no one wants to spend the rest of their days in regret and misery. A good life isn’t easy to achieve, but it is possible with the right knowledge and mindset.

“Perfect wisdom has four parts: Wisdom, the principle of doing things right. Justice is the principle of doing things equally in public and private. Fortitude is the principle of not fleeing danger, but meeting it. Temperance is the principle of subduing desires and living moderately,” Plato said.


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Living a good life is the first step to a happy, healthy future. If you have been looking for answers in life lately, here, you will find twenty ancient principles that may help you re-evaluate your present habits and behaviors and live life fully in the modern world.


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Remember your mortality and limited life and choose to live immediately. “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

-Marcus Aurelius


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Want true freedom? Master your emotions and, ultimately yourself. “No man is free who is not master of himself.”



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king questions about your assumptions, emotions, and beliefs is key to upgrading your wisdom for life. “There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination.”



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Try not to live life in extremes — either in terms of emotion or behavior. This way, you’ll be able to cope with difficult situations calmly and rationally.


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Change is a mindset game. “You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

-Marcus Aurelius


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Tame your ego — It can impede self-discovery and personal growth. “Ego is the immediate dictate of human consciousness.”

-Max Planck


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Examine your life through reason (think, reflect and explore). “If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins. “

-Benjamin Franklin


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To resist many of life’s worries, build a mental fortress to prevent intrusion. Learn to control your responses to outside events.


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How you live is your philosophy of life. Choose your actions carefully. “Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.”



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Appreciate life — don’t take things for granted. The ancient Greeks believed that everything is temporary and that we should never take anything for granted — not our relationships, health or happiness.


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A greater percentage of mental suffering is self-inflicted. Change the stories you tell yourself. “People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them,”



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Nurture and treasure authentic social connections — your happiness depends on them. “One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.”



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No amount of wealth can be compared to meaningful experiences. When you can, buy time for experiences that make you come alive.


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To minimize stress and avoid burnout, seek to maintain a balance in your life — between work, home, and personal relationships. “Life is balance of holding on and letting go.”



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Cherish and embody the simple life. Pursue things in moderation. Anything in excess can easily become a source of misery.


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Prosperity without wisdom becomes a source of suffering. “A prosperous fool is a grievous burden.”



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Keep asking yourself: Are all my present habits, routines and rituals necessary? “Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’”

-Marcus Aurelius


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Embrace the inevitable human suffering — learn to thrive despite the many curveballs. The hardship is the way. “Our inward power, when it obeys nature, reacts to events by accommodating itself to what it faces — to what is possible.”

-Marcus Aurelius


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Pursue and stack knowledge for life. The ancient Greeks believed knowledge is the only power you need to lead a good life. This means making lifelong learning a habit.


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Live in harmony with your environment. Reconnect with nature by making time for long walks, outdoor experiences or trying a new nature activity every quarter or year.


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20 Ancient Principles To Succeed in Modern Living


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