Inspiration From an Old Man

“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.

25 thoughts on “Inspiration From an Old Man

  1. Marcus Aurelius was a fascinating person, wasn’t he? Sometimes I wonder if he was ahead of his time or if we simply haven’t progress that much. Lol. Thanks for sharing the quote, Val. I hadn’t heard this one before. And I agree that a few of the folks in Washington could use some of this old advice. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Good thoughts!

    β€œDistraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” ~ Blaise Pascal, 17th century French Philosopher.

    Pascal also noted that β€œall of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Thanks, Val! Some years ago his name just jumped into my head. To be honest, I knew he was an emperor…but had no idea at that time of his insight of self-mastery. Thanks for the info…it just might be time to revisit for me.
    Hope you are well and that the new year started off beautifully for you.

    Liked by 4 people

    • If my father was alive I would consider sending to him. It isn’t about politics, but more about leadership and what it stands for…. in ourselves, the family, the world, work and government. I appreciate your comment James.

      Liked by 1 person

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