In his classic book Meditations, Marcus Aurelius, emperor of the Roman Empire, who at the time of writing was one of the most powerful men in the world, shares so many invaluable lessons. Even though he never planned on publishing it. It was his own private journal to remind himself how to live life.

He writes, “It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”

We care more about their opinion than our own. Powerful.

The story in our head. Our mindset. This is everything.

Photographer Chase Jarvis said, “As soon as you realize that the quality of your thoughts equals the quality of your life, all that remains is taking daily, persistent action to improve your mindset. Accept this responsibility, master this skill, and the rest will take care of itself.”

Things go wrong. People judge us. We don’t get the job, the house, the vacation, the healthy diagnosis.

But how do we react? With anger, unhappiness, terror, or anxiety? Or do we accept it and move on? Take positive action? Learn and grow?

As Chuck Palahniuk wrote in Fight Club, “It’s only after we’ve lost everything, that we’re free to do anything.”

We’re free to do anything.

Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Keep in mind how fast things pass by and are gone – those that are now, and those to come. Existence flows past us like a river; the “what” is in constant flux, the “why” has a thousand variations. Nothing is stable, not even what’s right here. The infinity of past and future gapes before us – a chasm whose depths we cannot see.”

We cannot see the depths. So why worry? If we put down that weight, we are free to do anything. And the peace we feel can never be taken from us.