“People who labor all their lives but have no purpose to direct every thought and impulse toward are wasting their time—even when hard at work.”
Life is short. Don’t waste it doing work that you don’t find meaningful.
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“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized tha...
“If you seek tranquillity, do less.”
Ask yourself at every moment, “Is this necessary?”
What are the 10% of activities that bring you 90% of the joy and results in your life? What can you eliminate from your to-do list right now? Don’t waste time on the non-...
“It’s unfortunate that this has happened. No. It’s fortunate that this has happened and I’ve remained unharmed by it—not shattered by the present or frightened of the future. It could have happened to anyone. But not everyone could have remained unharmed by it. Why treat the one as a misfortu...
“Practice the virtues you can show: honesty, gravity, endurance, austerity, resignation, abstinence, patience, sincerity, moderation, seriousness, high-mindedness. Don’t you see how much you have to offer—beyond excuses like “can’t”? And yet you still settle for less.”
“When people injure you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you’ll feel sympathy rather than outrage or anger. Your sense of good and evil may be the same as theirs, or near it, in which case you have to excuse them. Or your sense of good and...
“When you start to lose your temper, remember: There’s nothing manly about rage. It’s courtesy and kindness that define a human being—and a man. That’s who possesses strength and nerves and guts, not the angry whiners.”
Kindness trumps anger every day.
“Nowhere you can go is more peaceful—more free of interruptions—than your own soul. Especially if you have other things to rely on. An instant’s recollection and there it is: complete tranquillity. And by tranquillity I mean a kind of harmony.”
“Either pain affects the body (...
“Keep in mind how fast things pass by and are gone—those that are now, and those to come. Existence flows past us like a river: the “what” is in constant flux, the “why” has a thousand variations. Nothing is stable, not even what’s right here. The infinity of past and future gapes before us—a...
"... But you know what its will is. Does what’s happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness, and all the other qualities that allow a person’s nature to fulfill itself? So remember this ...
“Whereas humans were made to help others. And when we do help others—or help them to do something—we’re doing what we were designed for. We perform our function.”
Life is not about you. Help others.
“So too a healthy mind should be prepared for anything. The one that keeps saying, “Are my children all right?” or “Everyone must approve of me” is like eyes that can only stand pale colors, or teeth that can handle only mush.”
Bad things will happen in your life. Instead o...
“The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
“But if you accept the obstacle and work with what you’re given, an alternative will present itself—another piece of ...
“So we need to hurry. Not just because we move daily closer to death but also because our understanding—our grasp of the world—may be gone before we get there.”
Not only do we all inch closer to death every day, but we also have no idea how long our mental facilities will b...
“The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the color of your thoughts.”
What are your destructive thought patterns? How can you stop these? If you don’t, they will determine the quality of your life.
“So this is how a thoughtful person should await death: not with indifference, not with impatience, not with disdain, but simply viewing it as one of the things that happen to us.”
When you start understanding death as an event, it loses parts of its grip on your mind.
“When you need encouragement, think of the qualities the people around you have: this one’s energy, that one’s modesty, another’s generosity, and so on. Nothing is as encouraging as when virtues are visibly embodied in the people around us, when we’re practically showered with them. It’s good...
This is a life-changing collection of philosophical and spiritual thoughts from the former Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. The work is grounded in Stoicism, a practical philosophy that encourages us to:
“The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception.”
“Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.”
Life is perception. So if something “bad” happens to you, you can choose to perceive it differently. Y...
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Writing improves in direct ratio to the number of things we can keep out of it that shouldn’t be there.
Consider all the prepositions that are draped onto verbs that don’t need any help. Examine every word you put on paper. You’ll find a surprising number that doesn’t serv...
Too many of us equate doing something with being busy. We don’t need to fill every moment of our lives—both at work and at home—being productive.
Engaging in doing nothing can help you be more creative. It can also make you more productive and focused when you return t...
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