I was looking for some encouragement and found this quote earlier today. You’d expect to find that quote on some pretentious, woke website today, but this guy came up with this gem nearly two thousands years ago.
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor, from 161 to 180 CE, and a stoic philosopher.
An emperor AND a philosopher? What a fascinating person he must have been, being able to rule an empire like the freaking Roman Empire and find time and the right disposition to contemplate the mysteries of life and human nature, amid the excesses of palace life, temptations of wealth and unlimited power, beautiful women and whatever other temptations an emperor was faced with back then.
He reluctantly became emperor at 40 years old, but was conflicted because the demands of being emperor were incompatible with his true desire to be a humble student of philosophy.
An emperor wanting to be a student of philosophy?! How ridiculous that must have sounded to the people in his closest circle.
Nevertheless, he did rule the Roman Empire for 20 years and was a kind and balanced ruler. Later on, historians called him “the last of the five good emperors.”
How in the world does a powerful Roman emperor manage to stay humble and grounded without the help of today’s gurus? And life coaches?
My guess it is because he knew his mind.
Our mind is powerful tool if we know how to use it. He figured that out two thousands years ago, on his own. He was able to somehow focus inwardly and find the infinite riches of his mind and forget the insane privileges and power of his position as an emperor.
Innovative for a guy who lived about two thousand years ago, surrounded by all the distractions and challenges of his royal position.
The question for me (and you, my dear friend), if you will, is:
What is our excuse these days for letting our fear of inadequacy interfere with our dreams?
What challenges and obstacles are we ready to overcome in order to achieve that dream? To know and own our own mind? To not let outside events dictate who we are and what are capable of?
If an emperor can do it, so can we!