Meaningful work

“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
― Steven Pressfield

Today, as I woke up again at 5am and sat myself to write, I found myself struggling with a topic as I haven’t written in a while. It is indeed annoyingly frustrating because one thing about doing something daily is that you start to become good at it, and the frustration that comes with starting, vanishes. Right now, however, I’m struggling to come up with something that can help you in your day, but hey, I guess we all have this problem so let’s see what is the best way to make our way through it.

I believe that true work is done in the very first hours. I’m not referring the first hours ofBook-and-pen-top-10-wallpaper-hd6 your actual job, but the first hours in a morning that you’ve decided to wake up early, those hours that you can fill with whatever you like, whatever creative endeavor you’ve had in your mind for a while but haven’t pushed through. It can be learning a new language, writing, creating videos for youtube or simply reading.

When you wake up early, you fill your time with meaningful work and that is the kind of work that is needed. It’s almost like a test, if you want to live, eventually, from the thing that you like doing the most, you have to put the work in it.

Waking up early to work is not easy, it requires willpower and mental effort, but the rewards are infinite in comparison to the regret that can be felt at the end of everything for not giving ourselves even the small chance of leaving something of meaning behind.

Getting good at being uncomfortable

Just as Steven in the beginning quote and myself starting said, it’s not easy, obviously, Sysyphusyou are scared of whatever it is that you are trying to achieve, success is never a guarantee. But what we have to understand is that it doesn’t matter.

I do not know if I shall make progress, but I prefer to lack success rather than to lack faith.


It is not up to us whether our work will be great or not, what is up to us is to do the best that can be done given our situation. To focus solely on what is under our control, the rest doesn’t matter.

Sitting down to work or do anything of meaning will require a fight against comfort. It’s that simple, and that fight must be fought constantly. This is why the feeling of uncomfortableness must become the new comfort.


There is always an excuse for not doing meaningful work. You will always be able to find a reason for not doing what you know you should be doing.

  • I’m too tired
  • I don’t have a degree
  • I don’t have a camera
  • I am too old
  • I am too young

There are always excuses. Notice how there are lots of “I’s” there. It doesn’t help to put the problems on yourself.

Practice objectivity

For example, My body and mind are tired, what is there to be done about it? Maybe have a quick nap or maybe become comfortable with being uncomfortable and do the work anyways. Always remember that the obstacle is the way. 

Meaningful work isn’t easy, it requires courage and determination, the truth is that almost no one does what he wants to be doing in life.

Be the exception.

Stoic answers aim is to provide answers to the deepest human questions, which sadly, are almost always never asked.

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Stop caring about how you look, what they think, what they say, now.

There is a saying that says: “Man begins his life with an epicurean philosophy and ends it with a stoic philosophy” ed4eec889e9eea34aa70179175630d13

In the beginning, humans are in the full pursuit of pleasure, uninhibited pleasure as Freud would describe it. There is a constant hedonistic pursuit in food, love, and entertainment, you can notice this by the painfully persistent push of the kid at the line of Walmart for a chocolate. Later we begin to realize that this frenetic endeavor is not the best option for a good life, as there are consequences for the reckless pursuit of pleasure, sometimes ending in drug addiction, sex addiction or any other addiction that tries to hide the real and raw dilemma of humanity.

Then, if we are lucky, we begin to comprehend that the blind pursuit of pleasure might not be the smartest idea to live a good life, at this point, philosophy, starts making his illuminating way into the mind. Rationality starts kicking in, our most beautiful gift.

What do I have to do to live a good life if not pursue blindly pleasure?

I don’t know if there are people that come to stoic conclusions on their own, I’m sure there are, but for the most of us, reading Marcus Aurelius or Seneca, illuminates us into a new dimension of living. The stoic life then begins.

Answer the question, what is and what is not under my control, if I choose to act with what is under my control, I’m living a good and stoic life.

One issue I keep stumbling on is that of coming to grips with the fact that nothing but myself can bring true joy into my life and into my every moment, nobody but me has control over this.

Why do we need to be accepted all the time? To feel that others think the best of us all the time? Have you passed this petty need already?

This enslaving feeling of needing acceptance is stoically speaking, despicable. What is and what is not within your control? Within your control is to be lovable, to be an incredible friend, and to be a great man or woman. What is not under your power, however, is the power to control what other people think.

Caring about what other people think is a worthless activity.

Another worthless activity is pitying other people, you only have control over yourself, as they have over themselves. The highest form of insult you can give to anyone is that of pity. What we say when we pity someone is basically: “poor creature, I don’t think of yourself capable of doing anything, you are basically worthless”

Virtue dictates to act in the highest possible manner. This means being paramount Alfred_de_Breanski_BRS003ourselves, only by giving the example of the mountain is that the other people will become peaks in themselves.

The only think we should be concerned with is living a virtuous life. That is always, all the time completely at our dispositions.

This is relieving, this is freedom.

The only worthy goal is freedom


Stoic answers aim is to provide answers to the deepest human questions, which sadly, are almost always never asked.

Subscribe and receive for free the Askesis ebook to further develop your practice of stoicism. 

Subscribe here

Visit our Patreon page for more stoic, Patreon only content. Thanks.


Let’s use social media for something helpful, shall we? Help the world by spreading Stoicism, pay just $9 and gift a Mexico City person a copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I’ll send you an email so you can write a personal message and the photo will be uploaded to the Stoic Answers page.




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