“All I am is a little flesh and breath, plus mind.
Put away entertainments, set aside distractions, and look at yourself as you truly are: blood and bones, a network of nerves and veins. Your breath is only air, sucked in one moment and blown out the next. The mind, then, is the ruling part.
You’re an old man now. It’s time to stop being a slave; to no longer be pulled along like a puppet on strings; to stop being dissatisfied with today and afraid of tomorrow.”*
~ Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelias is recognized as one of the pillars of Stoic Philosophy, which became the basis of modern self help psychology. He wrote private journals capturing his thoughts over several years as Roman Emperor from 161-180. Today they are known as the Meditations, although they were never intended for publication or sharing.
I find it fascinating that this great and powerful man had such insight into himself and how to achieve self mastery.
Here he encourages us to face the reality of who we are as human beings, to shift our mindset and to seize the day.
If you are looking for inspiration on self mastery, and not getting sidetracked with all the distractions in today’s world, you may find his work inspiring.
p.s. Please forward to the President.
*Aurelius, Marcus. The Meditations: An Emperor’s Guide to Mastery (Stoic Philosophy Book 2) (p. 11). Ancient Renewal. Kindle Edition.