NO! I am not kidding you. The reason is quite simply that Marcus Aurelius offered some advice in 180 AD that is very applicable to us right now. Richard Feloni contributed an article to the Business Insider entitled, 9 timeless lessons from the great Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius ruled from 161 to 180 AD, and developed a reputation for being the ideal wise leader Plato termed the “philosopher king.” The key point that resonated with me was that he remained in control of his emotions through the beliefs that one cannot change the past or what other people feel in their hearts.
Four (4) of the lessons resonated with me, but you can read the original article here.
- Don’t spend time worrying about frivolous people who have no positive impact on others. Since energy and time are limited, don’t waste time on inconsequential matters. In other words, we should not fill our mind with anxiety-inducing, frivolous thoughts, especially since they often lead to negative outcomes. Marcus writes: “The value of attentiveness varies in proportion to its object, you’re better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.”
- Turn an obstacle into an opportunity. Marcus writes: “Something happens to you. Good. It was meant for you by nature, woven into the pattern from the beginning… Get what you can from the present – thoughtfully, justly.”
- Find peace within yourself. Marcus writes that, “People try to retreat from their problems and responsibilities by going somewhere like the mountains or the beach, but that travel isn’t necessary to recollect yourself”. He advocates a kind of brief meditation, where you withdraw into yourself and quiet your mind.
- You are the only person responsible for your happiness. He reminded himself not to dwell on how history would remember him. He made the point this way: “Choose not to be harmed and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been.” Marcus also said. “Do not let adulation from others overwhelm you and do not define yourself by others’ perception of you, since the only way someone can truly harm you is if they change your character.”
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