I was listening to Arianna Huffington chat with Tim Ferriss on his podcast. As a 14-year-old growing up in Greece, she saw a picture of Cambridge University in a magazine and told her parents she wanted to go there. Everyone said that would never happen because she didn’t speak English and they couldn’t afford it. Except her mother. She said, “I’m sure we can make that happen.” So, Arianna started learning English, took the entrance exams, applied for and received a scholarship, and attended Cambridge. It changed the trajectory of her life. Beyond inspiring. Continue reading
This week I heard about Michael Novogratz on the Tim Ferriss podcast. He used to be a partner at Goldman Sachs before he left in disgrace. He went on to be president and partner at Fortress Investment Group some years later. He, like all of us, has had his rock bottoms. Job loss, rehab and more. Continue reading
Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome, said in his book Meditations, “To recover your life is in your power. Look at things again as you used to look at them; for in this consists the recovery of your life.”
When we were young, we looked at life with awe. We didn’t carry the weight of the world on our shoulders.
As the years passed, we became jaded, disappointed and doubtful. Things go wrong. Life happens. And it’s not always what we pictured.
But if we take a moment to look at the things we have that are irreplaceable. The things that money can’t buy. Our health. Our family and friends. Our dreams. We have everything.
Marcus also wrote, “It is very possible to be a divine man and to be recognized as such by no one. Always bear this in mind; and another thing, too, that very little indeed is necessary for living a happy life.”
Very little indeed.
No matter what life throws at you, take a moment to stop scrolling, running and fretting and think of the three things that mean everything.
In that moment, you will recover your life.
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.
November 2nd is All Souls Day. The day we commemorate those who have passed on.
It made me think of a quote by philosopher Marcus Aurelius, “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” Continue reading
In The War of Art, Stephen Pressfield said, “Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” Continue reading