QUOTE OF THE WEEK 6/30/18

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“…what keeps the whole world in being is Change: not merely change of the basic elements, but also change of the larger formations they compose. On these thoughts rest content, and ever hold them as principles.”
-Marcus Aurelius

Change.

It is a fundamental part of life. Our bodies change, our friendships, our family, lives, character. Throughout the events of our days and years, the world around us changes, often times, this will cause ourselves to change, to grow.

A big theme of today’s environment is growth, a constant state of progression and change. James Altucher talks about reinventing yourself. He has even formed a movement out of it. James states reinventing yourself never stops and that in order to progress or start over in life, we will need to reinvent ourselves. Why is this important? Because stagnation equals death.

Thousands of years ago, we as primitive creatures relied upon nuts and berries to survive. With the invention of fire, we were able to cook meat, and the innovations of mankind for the betterment of society continued to grow and advance from there.

Think for a second about everything that came because of a change in our thinking and actions. Would we as a civilization be where we are or would we still be foraging for nuts and berries?

Change is inevitable. Change is necessary.

It is what keeps the world spinning. As long as there is man, there will be growth and change. At times, this can be scary. For example, over the next 20 years, what is going to happen to those whose jobs are going to be replaced by automation? What will happen when we have self-driving cars and self-serving restaurants?

You are looking at a workforce out of commission. A change. How will we react to this? We must change in order to keep moving forward.

Save money. Build new skills. Find a way to become irreplaceable. As James Altucher says, we must reinvent ourselves.

MORNING QUESTION 6/30/18

Spend your day with the following question in the back of your mind:

If this were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?

Allow the question to ruminate as you go about your day. You may choose to consciously think about it, or even journal about it tonight in your daily reflections.

The goal is to ask yourself the question to better understand yourself and the world around you.

NIGHTLY REFLECTION 6/29/18

The day has finished. We have spent today thinking of the following question:

Am I holding on to something I need to let go of?

It is hard to imagine a person who does not, or has not at one point in their life, not held onto something. It could have been an insult, a loss of some kind, a break up. At one point or another, you have gone through something and it took you a while before you let it go. But why does it take us so long to let go of things?

Depending upon the situation, it could be due to time. You go through a break up or divorce after being with your significant other for ten years. Are you immediately going to be jumping with joy? Immediately start a new life like nothing happened and never look back? No, probably not, and in cases where you do this, it is usually due to false-bravado.  In addition, due to us being human, we suffer from a handful of cognitive biases at any given time that may distort the truth about events.

Marcus Aurelius reminds himself in Meditations:

“Letting go all else, cling to the following few truths. Remember that man lives only in the present, in this fleeting instant: all the rest of his life is either past and gone, or not yet revealed.”

Yet even after reading his quote, how many of us would go about immediately letting go of something we’re holding onto? Few. I know for myself it takes me a long time to let go of things.

Practicing being present however, helps on letting go of the things we hold onto. All we have is the present moment. The past is gone. No matter what, we cannot reclaim what previously happened, it is written in stone. We can, however, use it as perspective for the present. I do not say the ‘present and future’ for the future is not concrete, it is malleable and has no set destination. It has yet to be written.

Seneca reminds us of this stating:

“The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depend upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for uncertainty.”

Holding on to the past, or fear of future events actually hinders and hurts us in the long run. But how about holding onto things from the past as fuel for the future? Well, that logic does work… but only temporarily. By holding onto the past to drive us into the future, you are doing two things: 1) you’re anchoring yourself to the past event(s) that are fueling you and 2) you are not properly seeing the present moment. Eventually what ends up happening is we hit a plateau because we cannot let go of the past to stay in the present. And when we lose sight of the present, we ruin our future.

The ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, once wrote:

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.”

So how do we let go of the past and stay present?

Ray Dalio, founder of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates and author of the book Principles talks about self-actualizing. Whether it is through a group of people assisting you or yourself, you need to be able to see the facts clearly. Understand yourself, see your faults, your actions, and what has taken place. Once you have a clear view of yourself and the events of the past, learn from them and move on. Do not be a slave to your past.

The stoics used daily reflections such as what we do here to reflect upon what happened and then let go of it. Eastern philosophy teaches of meditation. Some people today use neurolinguistics programing (NLP) to create anchors within themselves which pulls them back to the present moment.

Explore all you can and find what works best to stay present.

BUY
Meditations
 -Marcus Aurelius
The Tao of Seneca – Volume I – Seneca the Younger, Presented/Prepared by Tim Ferris
The Tao of Seneca – Volume II – Seneca the Younger, Presented/Prepared by Tim Ferris
The Tao of Seneca – Volume III – Seneca the Younger, Presented/Prepared by Tim Ferris
Letters from a Stoic – Seneca the Younger
On the Shortness of Life – Seneca the Younger
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu
Principles – Ray Dalio

How have we grown from this? Did we execute any differently today because of this? Do you feel that you have new tools to accomplish tomorrow?

MORNING QUESTION 6/29/18

Spend your day with the following question in the back of your mind:

Am I holding on to something I need to let go of?

Allow the question to ruminate as you go about your day. You may choose to consciously think about it, or even journal about it tonight in your daily reflections.

The goal is to ask yourself the question to better understand yourself and the world around you.

NIGHTLY REFLECTION 6/28/18

The day has finished. We have spent today thinking about the following question:

If I am to leave life at this exact moment, what would I regret?

It has been well said, at one point or another in your life, whether by a friend or family member, that at any moment, you could step outside and be hit by a car, or a bus, or a [fill this in with a any other heavy piece of machinery].

But why is this so important?

Because death creates life.

It is death, the end of something that brings the beauty to the world we live in. It brings an understanding that everything is finite, whether it is the tree outside your window, or your own life. It is the scarcity that brings life to the forefront of our mind and heart.

So if life is so short, or fleeting, then why live with regrets?

I think the Daily Stoic said it best:

Marcus Aurelius was emperor of Rome. His untitled writing, commonly known as Meditations is an important source of Stoic philosophy.

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

He means that everything, no matter whether it is good or bad is an opportunity to practice virtue.

Don’t be surprised by failure, expect it, in fact, embrace it and seek after obstacles in your life which seem uncomfortable.

It is here where your character will be tested and most importantly moulded and developed.

The Stoics called negative visualisations the premeditation of evils. The idea is to envision the worst possible scenario. An example could be twisting your ankle before you run.

Assimilate this idea into your daily actions and you will be rewarded.

Epictetus is famous for what he called the dichotomy of control which describes what is in our control.

We can apply this to failure.

The moment you start to regret something in the past you’re fundamentally acting against something which is out of your control and so there’s no practical reward from doing so only frustration and anger.

We should learn from the past and our failures, but to regret, to ponder and to revisit our previous attempts and then look at present with disdain is a crime to your character.

Therefore, we cannot live our lives with regret towards the past. Nor can we live with fear of the future. We must push on as if today is the last day we have.

As Seneca reminds us:

“No man can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it … Most men ebb and flow in wretchedness between the fear of death and the hardships of life; they are unwilling to live, and yet they do not know how to die.”

We must learn to therefore live. We spend too much of our time wasting our lives, worrying about things that never even come to fruition. Seneca even remarks as such saying:

“There are more things, Lucilius, likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality… What I advise you to do is, not to be unhappy before the crisis comes; since it may be that the dangers before which you paled as if they were threatening you, will never come upon you; they certainly have not yet come… Accordingly, some things torment us more than they ought; some torment us before they ought; and some torment us when they ought not to torment us at all. We are in the habit of exaggerating, or imagining, or anticipating, sorrow.”

Live today without regrets. Do not fear what may never come. Remove emotion from decisions and realize today may very well be your last. How would you want to live it?

BUY
Meditations -Marcus Aurelius
The Daily Stoic – Ryan Holiday
The Tao of Seneca – Volume I – Seneca the Younger, Presented/Prepared by Tim Ferris
The Tao of Seneca – Volume II – Seneca the Younger, Presented/Prepared by Tim Ferris
The Tao of Seneca – Volume III – Seneca the Younger, Presented/Prepared by Tim Ferris
Letters from a Stoic – Seneca the Younger
On the Shortness of Life – Seneca the Younger

How have we grown from this? Did we execute any differently today because of this? Do you feel that you have new tools to accomplish tomorrow?

MORNING QUESTION 6/28/18

Spend your day with the following question in the back of your mind:

If I am to leave life at this exact moment, what would I regret?

Allow the question to ruminate as you go about your day. You may choose to consciously think about it, or even journal about it tonight in your daily reflections.

The goal is to ask yourself the question to better understand yourself and the world around you.

NIGHTLY REFLECTION 6/27/18

The day has finished. We have spent today thinking about the following question:

What matters most in my life?

Impact.

Impact encompasses all that I wish to accomplish. Held within impact is love, money, security, compassion. Having an impact on someone or a group of people creates a lasting dynamic which is there and continues on long after we are gone.

If we’re lucky, the impact we leave on someone will be passed through time. It is through these lessons and impacts that the world continues.

Live by example and you will leave an impact.

And to me, that’s what is most important.

How have we grown from this? Did we execute any differently today because of this? Do you feel that you have new tools to accomplish tomorrow?