Meditations is perhaps the only document of its kind ever made. The book is a collection of the private notes made by Marcus Aurelius, a great Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, giving advice to himself on how to make good on the responsibilities and obligations of his positions. It was not intended to be read by others so his writings are an awesome insight into the mind and philosophy of the world's most powerful man at the time. His thoughts are practical and you can apply them straight away to improve your way of life.
"At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work – as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for – the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?”
"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.”
"Then remind yourself that past and future have no power over you. Only the present—and even that can be minimized. Just mark off its limits. And if your mind tries to claim that it can’t hold out against that...well, then, heap shame upon it.”
“Not to live as if you had endless years ahead of you. Death overshadows you. While you’re alive and able — be good.”
These are some of the best quotes from Marcus Aurelius to get you going. Apply and practice them and you will see a positive change in your life.
“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”
“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.”
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
“We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”
“If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.”
“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions.”
“Whatever anyone does or says, I must be good, just as if the gold, or the emerald, or the purple were always saying this, whatever anyone does or says, I must be emerald and keep my color.”
“When you’ve done well and another has benefited by it, why like a fool do you look for a third thing on top— credit for the good deed or a favor in return?”
“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.”
“Yes, you can–if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable.”
“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 to keep this in mind.”
This website provides information about the book 'Meditations' by Marcus Aurelius and about stoic philosophy. By no means I am trying to sell the book. If you would like to buy it, search for it on Google or Amazon, there are plenty of options. I recommend you look for Gregory Hays’ translated version as it is in modern plain English and the words are concise and fluid. The original English translation is by George Long and it is free.
If you are interested to know more about the stoic philosophy, I strongly recommend checking out d a i l y s t o i c . c o m . This is by far the best resource for stoicism I can find and awesome starting point for someone interested in this topic.
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