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Some Simple Rules From The Daily Stoic

by Carol

In your actions, don’t procrastinate. In your conversations, don’t confuse. In your thoughts, don’t wander. In your soul, don’t be passive or aggressive. In your life, don’t be all about business.

– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.51

Today’s one-pager read from the book The Daily Stoic quotes the above, followed by this short snippet:

Simple is rarely easy. But now that you have these rules, make it your duty to put them into practice – with the first item on your to-do list, with the first conversation you have, with your soul, and of course, with the life you make for yourself. Not just today, but every day.

Today’s reading once again reminds us that life is not transactional. It is not business. Life is about living, filled with meaning in what we choose to do and thrive in. And not all of it has to be tied to monetary gain. When it comes to the topic of money and life, it is hard to segregate one from the other, because we have been conditioned from the time we were born that life is about survival of the fittest. Outdo to stay alive and on top of everyone else, or fall behind and be a failure.

Everyone struggles at some point to survive. To make enough money either from employment or from running their own business. No money, no life. But in this day and age, we do so much more than just surviving on basic necessities. We need to make so much more because our lifestyles have become more sophisticated and complicated.

Yet, we also think that living the lifestyle we want is living life. It’s about enjoying a good quality of life. To upkeep that, we need to work for it. The more we hustle to survive, the better the quality of life we can afford. But what really is the quality we are referring to?

Quality in terms of being able to afford better and more luxurious things? Or quality in terms of having time and freedom to live?

Quality of life is a subjective matter as everyone defines it differently. It isn’t to say that there is a right and wrong option. After all, we all have options in life. Me, I choose the simpler option. But simple is rarely easy, as the book rightly points out. I believe everyone needs to go through a particular cycle in life and experience certain things before they can have a comparison of the two and feel the difference.

Every path we’ve taken, whether on the beaten path of survival or threading on the simpler way of life, has a purpose. Whether we see and grasp it is a different matter. Sometimes we do, and decide to change course. Sometimes we don’t, and repeat the cycles over and over, and wonder why we feel so drained. It takes seeing and believing to lead one to make a change like this in life. Some may see it earlier than others, some may never see it.

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