Meditations Book 7 by Marcus Aurelius, a reflection.
“Do not let the future trouble you. You will come to it (if that is what you must) possessed of the same reason that you apply now to the present.”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 7.8
Hi! I have a question for you. What makes you anxious about your future? I know a lot of people worries a lot about their future, me included. In the mean time, keep your answer to yourself. And allow me to share with you my thoughts on worrying about the future.
One of the reasons that makes us anxious about the future is its uncertainty. We do not know what might happen next, where we will end up, or what we will feel in the next hour.
The future is both a place and a time that no one exactly knows what is in there. It does not manifest yet, but it certainly will.
We think that the future is the ideal place and time for everything. Our dreams, our plans, and our expectations will all happen in the future. We think the future holds the fulfillment to all these.
A certain amount of worry about the future is okay. It only means we care about it. If we incessantly think about the future, it will give us a hard time falling asleep or focusing on things that also need our attention. If this happens, we need to take a step back from our concern for the future and take a step into the present.
TAKE A STEP IN THE PRESENT
The present determines the future. If we spend much of our time worrying, our future will be full of worries too. We don’t like that. So we better focus on things that can help us determine our future – our actions and judgment.
Our actions are activities we put ourselves in. The efforts we make for self-improvement and the habits that we form. We keep on doing things so that we will never remain in the same place. To never remain in the same place, we need to step forward to get what we want. For example, we find a job and earn money in the hope it can make us do what we want to do with our life. How would we travel, or sustain our basic needs if we do not have the money (unless if you are super-rich)?
Our judgement has our perceptions of different situations in life. It has our reasons for why we do what we do, and our will to achieve whatever is within our control and capability. It is the source of our reasoned choice. The reasoned choice is our ability to choose how we categorize, respond, and reorient ourselves to external events. All that we feel and think are our judgment to external things formed by our minds. Remove the judgment and we remove the thought. For example, “I am hurt”, remove the thought “I am hurt”, and the hurt itself is removed.
We know it is easier said than done. But it is better done than said. So let us try doing that.
Do what we have to do
Try to plant a good fruit seed in good soil today. And give everything that we possibly can give it. Keep doing it and keep looking after it. One day, it will bear good fruit.
What does it mean?
In order to bear fruit, we have to do what we have to do. And focus on doing the things that we actually can control and can do.
Like our future, it depends on the action that we make in the present. The better the action, the better result. The better the result, the better the action. The present always precedes the future. And the future always becomes the present.
If we desire a good future, we have to assess if are doing good things in the present. Are we taking up responsibility? Are we making improvements? Or are we always making up excuses?
You do not know what will happen next, where you might end up, or what you might feel in the next hour. That seems to be the reason why Marcus Aurelius says not to let yourself be troubled by the future.
No matter how uncertain you are about your future, you can still make your contextual prediction of it by observing the way you live and the you think.
You may not be able to control the future but at least you can control your action and your judgment.
Keep in mind, to never let the future trouble you, you should step in the present and do what you have to do.
Here is my thought on worrying about the future. What do you think about it?
And why do you think you worry about the future even if you know you can’t control it?Comment them below.
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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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