5 Quotes From Marcus Aurelius to Help You During These Troubling Times

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Most people know about Marcus Aurelius from the movie Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe.

But that portrayal of the philosopher-emperor is but a glimpse of what the actual figure was like in real-life.

When he was only seventeen, then emperor Hadrian would come to respect and admire Marcus, calling him verissimus, meaning most true and truthful.

Despite all the stress and turmoil he must have faced as the most powerful man during some of history’s most turbulent times, he somehow managed to live a life of virtue.

He did not only write philosophy. He embodied it. If Socrates was the wisest man to ever live, then Marcus Aurelius was the most virtuous.

And his advice can helps us all during these troubling times that we must face right now.

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In These Trying Times… Remember… This Too Shall Pass

“But man is not made for defeat,” he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

I believe that man can endure any “how.” I’ve always believed that.

We are capable of jumping off a cliff and growing a pair of wings on our way down. Each and every single one of us.

Thus, I am confident that we can overcome any obstacle, and that these hard times that we are facing right now are going to pass.

“This too shall pass,” as the saying goes.

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True Wisdom

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates

Epictetus tells us that people would visit Socrates and ask to speak to a philosopher, and he’d take them to see other philosophers.

Whenever I set out to learn something new, I am usually reluctant because of what I perceive as a steep learning curve. It is difficult, almost impossible, it’s not worth it, I do not have the time, the patience, or the mental fortitude to learn this. After a while, though, when I figure out that it’s not as difficult as I had presumed, I become arrogant. I think I know it all, I think that there’s not much left to learn.

Most of us think like that in one or more areas of our life. Continue reading

Too far apart

many

“There are too many of us and we are all too far apart.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

I’m writing these words knowing that people from all over the world are going to read them. People of all ages, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, of different religious beliefs. Most of them, I’ll never get a chance to meet. Most of them, I don’t know how they look like, what’s the thing they want most in this world, or what is it that they’re afraid of… most of them are perfect strangers to me.

Yet, simply by writing these words with these strangers in my mind, having the certainty that my words will reach them, they become a little bit more than strangers. They become human beings, just like myself, and that is one of life’s greatest achievements. Continue reading

Nothing. Everything. Anything. Something.

believe
“Nothing, Everything, Anything, Something: If you have nothing, then you have everything, because you have the freedom to do anything, without the fear of losing something.” – Jarod Kintz
I often say that life’s just a matter of perspective. What we call reality is subjective. We interpret events and situations in a manner that best suits our interests and beliefs. Simply put, we see what we want to see.
There’s no surprise that these four words (nothing, everything, anything, something) are relative. Nothing is difficult to understand, anything is limited by our perception of freedom, while everything and something are matters of optimism and hope.

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Do Your Own Bit of Saving

“Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.” – Ray Bradbury

Even though it doesn’t feel like it, we spend most of our lives waiting. We find ourselves at one end of a dark tunnel and we wait for someone or something to take by the hand and lead us toward the light on the other side.

We spend our days wishing for better ones. Continue reading

Happiness

“To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.” – Bertrand Russell

Most people spend their lives waiting for something to happen. When they’re happy, they’re waiting for something to ruin that happiness. They feel it, an energy of sorts, waiting around the corner to consume their smiles. When they’re sad, when they feel something is missing, they wait for something to make them smile again. Continue reading