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The Only Stoic Passage You'll Ever Need to Read

 

Marcus Aurelius was a great man. Oddly enough, we share a birthday: April 26. He just happens to have been born 1,869 years before me. He was known as the last of the Five Good Emperors of Rome. His personal journals are the source for nearly all stoic philosophy humbly named Meditations

Perhaps it is because I was raised in the mid-west or maybe it's my eastern European background, but I love stoicism and how practical it is. His words, nearly two millennia later sound like they were written yesterday

Aurelius writes:

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?”

It's comforting to know that even people who lived nearly 2000 years ago had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. He continues:

So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?

Our lives all play a small part to make the world whole. He revisits the subject in another meditation:

When you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, remember that your defining characteristic— what defines a human being — is to work with others. Even animals know how to sleep. And it’s the characteristic activity that’s the more natural one — more innate and more satisfying.

Read this anytime your lacking motivation and I promise it will help you out. Print it out and hang it on your wall next to your desk. We were all born to do something in this life. Best to do what our nature demands.

If you'd like to read you can pick up the book here I highly reccomend this translation by Gregory Hays because it is in my opinion the best version out there and is completely void of thous and shous.

stoicismJimi Filipovski