Marcellus knew that the source of all his problems was only one ‘local engineer’ who had been orchestrating Syracuse’s s

Author : fdido.did
Publish Date : 2021-01-07 05:52:47


Marcellus knew that the source of all his problems was only one ‘local engineer’ who had been orchestrating Syracuse’s s

Putting off our responsibilities is easy. Complaining is easy. Both are as natural to us as breathing. But what good has either ever done for anyone in the long run? Sure, shaking your fist at the sky and venting your frustrations can feel liberating in the moment, but has it ever changed your circumstances for the better, solved your problems, or made you happier? Has procrastinating ever made your life less stressful and more efficient? I’m willing to bet the answer is no. This is why we must follow Aurelius’ lead and focus on the important tasks in front of us. If we can win that battle first, the rest of the day will be a breeze.

It was a war that is completely overshadowed by the great Carthaginian general Hannibal who invaded Italy scored emphatic victories at Lake Trasimene and Cannae before his eventual defeat at the hands of the Roman general Scipio Africanus in 202 B.C.

Follow this advice today and every day. So much of what we think we must do — and what we end up doing — is not essential. Rip off the chains of obligation to these things. Then you’ll be able to better do what is essential and get a taste of the tranquillity that Aurelius was talking about.

Stop letting yourself be distracted. That is not allowed. Instead, as if you were dying right now… Stop allowing your mind to be a slave, to be jerked about by selfish impulses, to kick against fate and the present, and to mistrust the future.—Marcus Aurelius

That said, an often-overlooked battle that nearly frustrated Rome for two years was the Siege of Syracuse, from 213–212 BC. This battle was a special one. This was a battle between military might and the brilliance of science. The brute Roman military strength was led by the great general Marcus Claudius Marcellus and his massive army was opposed by the brilliance of one man, Archimedes whose superior technological inventions stopped the Romans dead in their tracks.

As wonderful as it would be if there were no such thing as death, we can use death as a tool: We can use it as a spur to move us forward. We can use it as a reminder of what’s truly important and use our time accordingly.

We can use Parkinson’s law to our advantage. The Stoics did. Memento mori — the reflection on mortality — was their reminder. Remember that you are mortal. Remember that you are always pressed by a deadline. Remember what Aurelius said: “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” It wasn’t to create panic, but priority, humility, urgency, appreciation.

As wonderful as it would be if there were no such thing as death, we can use death as a tool: We can use it as a spur to move us forward. We can use it as a reminder of what’s truly important and use our time accordingly.

All the crises, distractions, and temptations we face today have their analogs in the past. So we should listen to the command that Aurelius gave himself on one of those days when he was struggling to stay focused: “Concentrate every minute like a Roman — like a man — on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice.”

From his stepfather Antoninus, Aurelius learned how to work long hours and “stay in the saddle.” He never shirked hard work or avoided his most unpleasant duties. He had a job to do and didn’t complain about it. “Never be overheard complaining,” he wrote, “not even to yourself.”

It was Aurelius’ simple recipe for improvement and for happiness. And the fact that it came from such a busy man with so many obligations and responsibilities should not be forgotten. “If you seek tranquillity,” he said, “do less.” And then he follows the note to himself with some clarification: Not nothing—less. Do only what’s essential. “Which brings a double satisfaction,” he writes, “to do less, better.”

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that a Bitcoin standard mirroring the one supported by gold is unoriginal and trite; that a Bitcoin standard would suffer the same failures. Why bother revisiting failed monetary arrangements of the past? But Bitcoin, being a dematerialized monetary commodity, is new, and distinct from gold.

Procrastination can often be a product of overwhelm. We have so much on our to-do list that we don’t even know where to begin, so we don’t begin. Seneca liked to use the word “discursive.” When we have our attention pointed in so many different directions, we have it pointed nowhere. He compared it to the nomad: “Everywhere means nowhere.” The way forward is to zero in on what’s most important.

An adage of author and historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson was that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Today, we know that principle as Parkinson’s law. So, if you have two weeks to write a paper for school, it will take two weeks. If you block off all day Sunday to clean your house, it will take all day. If you give something unlimited time, it will take forever. When we’re pressed by a deadline, we don’t procrastinate.

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.—Marcus Aurelius



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