Stoic advice

Marcus Aurelius on, No Bullshit!


“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”

 

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

There is immense depth in this short quote from Marcus. When you read it, you get a feeling of truth, a truth you have always known. You understand it, not with words but with a foreboding, a presentiment. You know intuitively what a good man is or what “good” is.

Many times, we go through life, not really doing anything and as we wait to live, life

¹¼¹

passes by. 

Have you ever had that feeling?

Imagine yourself at the coffee shop. You have your black coffee right next to you, laptop opened and you are very ready to go to work, but the cellphone is next to you as well, You decide to check it just for a moment before actually working. Next thing you know, half an hour has gone by and you are checking some weird shit in the no man’s land of pinterest, how did you even got there!

Another type of distractor is thinking you are working or doing something productive. I know, I’ve been there. Has it ever happen to you that you are “researching” but an hour is gone and you are still reading an article on a topic that you could describe yourself but are too lazy to actually think?

We go through life, trying, to be good. Be good at work, be good at life, be good at music, be good at anything. “Trying to be good” is the problem.  What does it even mean to be good?

I know, Marcus probably meant to be good in the ethical sense, but I’m going to dare and use this quote to basically any area of our lives.

How, well, what does it mean to be good at something?

To do something right or to achieve a certain goal. When Marcus said to waste no more 47440_article_fulltime arguing how to be good, I think he meant: quit the bullshit and get on what we know we have to do.

Checking our phones while doing homework or doing work is not going to help us to achieve what we want, it’s just a distraction and we know it, but damn is it addictive isn’t it?

We say we want to do and be great things but we spent too much time arguing what being good is, instead of actually getting to do something. We tend to think that the top of the mountain is what we want, but we have to change that mindset into wanting the ascence.

We like to think of ourselves as being good at something but we don’t like the hard part Sysyphus.jpgabout it, the work, the struggle and that struggle is needed to actually get good at those things.

We say we don’t have time during the day. I’m just going to outline some persons to make this reading a bit awkward.

  • Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) Italian Renaissance painter, inventor, engineer, astronomer, anatomist, biologist, geologist, physicist, and architect.
  • Aristotle (384–322 BC), Greek philosopher, a student of Plato, and teacher of Alexander the Great. His fields of expertise include: physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, ethics, biology, and zoology. He numbers among the greatest polymaths of all time.
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)  German Poet, Novelist, Playwright, scientist, philosopher, and Diplomat.

We worry a lot on “how we look doing something” this is also a terrible mistake as that is precisely what trying to be good is. You can read Learners and Non-learners for further explanation.

Ask yourself always, am I being productive or just active?

Remember:

Love of bustle is not industry

Seneca

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