Marcus Aurelius: The Roman emperor – the strongest person of his time.
Epictetus: A person who was born as a slave, and later on became a teacher.
Seneca: An adviser to the emperor and one of the richest people of his time.
A. Memento Mori (Remember, you’re going to die)
You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think. (Marcus Aurelius)
Remember the last time you spent your day fighting with someone, and maybe you patched up after a while too?
“Every third thought shall be my grave.” (Shakespeare)
B. Choose not to be harmed — and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed — and you haven’t been. (Marcus Aurelius)
But that didn’t stop him to overcome his obstacles.
C. The impediment to action advances action. What comes in the way, becomes the way. (Marcus Aurelius)
D. Amor Fati (Love for Fate)
E. We are more often frightened than hurt, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.” (Seneca)
F. Don’t talk about what a good person should be like. Be that Person. (Marcus Aurelius)
G. “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” (Marcus Aurelius)
H. Summum Bonum (The Highest Good)
I. Only the educated are free. (Epictetus)
Every day you get a chance of Reinventing yourself (James Altucher)
Absorbing what goes on around him, filtering it, latching on to what he can hold.
A student is self-critical and self-motivated, always trying to improve his understanding so that he can move on to the next topic, the next challenge. A real student is also his own teacher and his own critic. There is no room for the ego there.
Source: Ego is the enemy by Ryan Holiday
J. Contemptuous Expressions
K. If it’s endurable, then endure it. Don’t complain.
L. No man steps in the same river twice. (Heraclitus)
M. It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people but care more about their opinion than our own. (Marcus Aurelius)
N. The best way to avenging thyself is not to become like the wrongdoer. (Marcus Aurelius)
O. It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. (Epictetus)
P. External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now. (Marcus Aurelius)
Q. How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself? (Epictetus)
R. Premeditatio Malorum
S. How you do anything is how you do everything.
T. Let all your efforts be directed to something, let it keep that end in view. (Seneca)
Clarity in thoughts.
Clarity in actions.
Clarity in words.
If you are not clear with your thoughts, your actions, and your words, well, you are going to be messed up.
One step at a time. One action at a time. One thought in a moment.
U. Above all, it is necessary for a person to have a true self-estimate, for we commonly think we can do more than we really can. (Seneca)
And that’s ego.
V. I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent—no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you. (Seneca)
It was the same decaying organic matter that went on to become diamond because it went through extreme pressure. The same matter which wasn’t set to such extreme pressure could only be sold as coal.
And we know the price difference between diamond and coal.
Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men. (Seneca)
W. I begin to speak only when I’m certain what I’ll say isn’t better left unsaid. (Cato)
“Wait, what if…”
Damn those interruptions we cause to others, just because we don’t want to listen.
We don’t want to listen, because it might hurt our ego – that someone is speaking the truth about us, or maybe someone is right and we are wrong. We don’t listen because speaking is easier than being humble and listening to someone else.
And we were given two ears and one mouth – so we could listen to double the amount of what we can speak.
Once we start living by this conviction, our words will start carrying more significance.
X. There’s the event itself, and the story we tell ourselves about the event. (Ryan Holiday)
What if I told you – “I just want to kick your butt really hard.”
Now you could either feel offended, or you can just laugh it off and give me even a sarcastic reply to this.
There’s the event itself, and the story we tell ourselves about the event. “Oh, Dipanshu is so rude and offensive!”
“Dipanshu definitely likes being sarcastic in public, and don’t mind getting a more sarcastic reply in return.”
It’s on us what story do we tell ourselves about the event.
Y. Ask, ‘Why is this so unbearable? Why can’t I endure it?’ You’ll be embarrassed to answer. (Marcus Aurelius)
Nothing happens to any man which he is not formed by nature to bear. (Marcus Aurelius)
Here’s the timeline of Abraham Lincoln’s life (Source)
1816 His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
1818 His mother died.
1831 Failed in business.
1832 Ran for state legislature – lost.
l832 Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
1833 Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year, he was bankrupt.
He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
1835 Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
1836 Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
1838 Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
1840 Sought to become elector – defeated.
1843 Ran for Congress – lost.
1848 Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
1854 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
1856 Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – gets less than 100 votes.
1858 Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
1860 Elected president of the United States.
Did you notice the no. of failures Lincoln faced? And the end result? He was the elected president of the US.
If he’d lost his will to keep pursuing the path, what do you think the history could have been?