Eliminate the distractions in your life — don’t let yourself be pulled in all directions. Approach each task as if it you

Author : yomij816
Publish Date : 2021-01-09 13:05:58


Eliminate the distractions in your life — don’t let yourself be pulled in all directions. Approach each task as if it you

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 Stoics believed in the power of hard work and of staying on task. Marcus Aurelius frequently alluded to his purpose — what he was brought here to do. This kept him focused on the task at hand and gave him the motivation to wake up in the morning.

“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.”

The Stoics borrowed a practice from the Pythagoreans, of walking at dawn and witnessing the stars going down and the sun coming up. This humbled them at the start of their day, reminding them of how small their place in the world is. It also reminds one of the workings of the cosmos, and the universe, and therefore sympatheia — our connection with the universe and everything in it. It reminds us to pass over our control to what the universe has in store for us — our place within the bigger plan.

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As you plan your day, identify ways where you can maximize alive time and minimize dead time. Realize the situations in which you can bring more value to your day, to ensure that your days are lived to their maximum potential.

This was a core practice of the Stoics. After purposeful silence, the Stoics would think about the day ahead — the ways in which they would go about their day, how they would behave in accordance with the four virtues of Stoicism (wisdom, justice, courage, and temperance), the challenges they may face, and how they would work to overcome these.

 

 

him. I didn’t want to argue. I wanted him there, even though I could see it was a foolish move to have him anywhere near me in public. But I reasoned that people knew that we were “friends.” I told myself it would be weirder, in fact, not to invite him.

“Birds that are being prepared for the banquet, that they may be easily fattened through lack of exercise, are kept in darkness; and similarly, if men vegetate without physical activity, their idle bodies are overwhelmed with flesh, and in their self-satisfied retirement the fat of indolence grows upon them…But this, to my thinking, would be among the least of their evils. How much more darkness there is in their souls! Such a man is internally dazed.”

“Sympatheia is an invitation to us to take a step back, zoom out and see life from a higher vantage point than our own. It changes our value judgments, weakens the power that luxury and temptation have over us, reduces the seemingly insurmountable differences between people and races and turns the worries of daily life from anxiety attacks to absurdities.”

 

Prepare yourself for any potential challenges you will face, so that if they happen, you will be equipped to deal with them. Mentally rehearse your day, outlining what you want to accomplish in an ideal situation. Then, think about the ways in which your day could go wrong. Mentally prepare yourself to deal with these setbacks in a way that aligns with your own core values as well as the virtues of Stoicism.

“Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants, the spiders, and the 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?”

“Life is constantly asking us, Is this going to be alive time or dead time? A long commute. Are we going to zone out or listen to an audiobook? A delayed flight. Are we going to get in a couple of miles by walking around the terminal or shove a Cinnabon into our face? A tour of duty or a contract we have to earn out. Is this tying us down or freeing us up? That’s our call…. We have to choose to make every moment a moment of alive time. We have to decide to be present. To make the most of whatever is in front of us.”

“Cling tooth and nail to the following rule: Not to give in to adversity, never to trust prosperity, and always to take full note of fortune’s habit of behaving just as she pleases, treating her as if she were actually going to do everything it is in her power to do. Whatever you have been expecting for some time comes as less of a shock.”

“At every moment keep a sturdy mind on the task at hand, as a Roman and human being, doing it with strict and simple dignity, affection, freedom, and justice — giving yourself a break from all other considerations. You can do this if you approach each task as if it is your last, giving up every distraction, emotional subversion of reason, and all drama, vanity, and complaint over your fair share.”

Sympatheia reminds us that we are all one, and therefore helps us to treat others with respect and in a non-judgmental way. We must look out for one another and care about each other, and therefore we must be patient and accepting of others. This view also puts things in perspective — our problems are so tiny among the vastness of the cosmos.



Category : general

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