Meditations Book 2 by Marcus Aurelius, a reflection.
“At every moment keep a sturdy mind, on the task at hand, as a Roman and human being, doing it with strict and simple dignity, affection, freedom, and justice—giving yourself a break from all other considerations. You can do this if you approach each task as if it is your last , giving up every distraction, emotional subversion of reason, and all drama, vanity, and complaint over your fair share. You can see how mastery over a few things makes it possible to live an abundant and devout life—for, if you keep watch over these things, the gods won’t ask for more.”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 2.5
The world has changed a lot since the time of Marcus Aurelius.
During his time, the lesson is only learned by heart because books are too expensive.
Today, if we want to learn something new, we can go on Google and search for the things we want. In a matter of seconds, we have thousands, even millions, of search results to choose from.
For example (as of writing this blog), the search result for “how to avoid distractions” on Google is at 32, 300, 000 in 0.48 seconds. That is a lot of information. Also, that is telling of how much people are interested in avoiding distractions. Why? Because there are just too many distractions around us.
The distractions around us cannot make us focus on what is in front of us. One notification sound of our phones from our social media account, we will be lost in a long period of distraction. Whether it is only to check the new likes, new hearts, or new comments, it will take us time and distract our attention. The stakes are high when we do not know how to avoid distractions.
In fact, 28 percent of employers report that they’ve fired people for using the Internet for non-work-related activity – such as shopping online or checking out Facebook, for example – during the workday.
When we do not approach each task as if it is our last, we will become lax and inefficient. We will incur an increase of unproductive hours. We will be unable to meet deadlines. Then, we will lose the value of the task we are doing.
Approach each task as if it is your last
Marcus did not say we should seize the day nor should we work until we die. But he is saying that we should approach each task as if it were our last because it could really be.
Even if it is not, every moment is an opportunity to make the best out of ourselves.
Even if it is not, every task is an opportunity to create the best piece of our life.
Even if it is not, every single task deserves the best of us.
When we do every task with the right aim and for the right reason, no distraction can stop us from doing it. And we do it as if it were the last thing we would ever do.
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1. The Meditations By Marcus Aurelius.
2. The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.
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The goal of my book series is the same goal I have expressed in Why Do I Write.
My 2020 goal is to read a book per month; share with people what I learn from and feel about the book. For July 2020, the book I read is the Meditations By Marcus Aurelius.
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