“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle
To live well is to approach life with the right philosophies.
Success, happiness, and a life well-lived are not secrets. There is no magic formula, hack, or trick to them. Instead, there are the timeless habits and traits that have remained true for thousands of years and will remain true forevermore.
The greatest lessons we can apply to our lives have already been figured out, and have been echoed by philosophy over and over, for ages. Why? Because there is truth to them, validity, because they work. …
“Life is warfare and a journey far from home.” — Marcus Aurelius
Life isn’t an easy business. Living in this world isn’t so easy either. A lot of unpleasant crap has happened as of late, and many people are hurting. I am hurting. Maybe you are too — you’re not alone. But none of what’s happening is some special suffering that’s been reserved for us. No, life has always been hard, the world has always been hard, and history has been a cycle of such things. We can learn from that.
Marcus Aurelius (121AD — 180AD), the last of the Five Good Emperors, may have been in a position that afforded him many privileges, but that does not mean he lived without hardship. On the contrary, he bore a tremendous weight of responsibility. He had to cope with wars on the frontiers (which he often oversaw himself rather than staying in the comforts of Rome), the death of his wife Faustina, of his friend Verus, the abortive revolt of Cassius, the horrendous Antonine Plague that decimated Europe, and the realization that his son and successor, Commodus, was not the man he had hoped would take over the Roman Empire. Marcus died in Pannonia (One of the few Roman emperors to pass away so far from Rome), while leading a campaign against the invading Germanic tribes. …
“Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
What brings you joy?
Really. What truly brings you joy? Not an offhanded laugh, or a halfhearted smile, but that potent joy that makes you forget time itself, forget life’s inherent suffering and tragedy — that makes it all worth it.
It may come as a surprise that many people struggle to find an answer. More still would list things off that are not even their own views but the views that were sold to them by others and installed over time, or the things they tell themselves will bring them joy when instead they are acting as placeholders for the true joy they crave. …