The Only Choice We Have When We Do Not Want To Remain In The Same Place

Meditations Book 9 by Marcus Aurelius, a reflection.

“All things are in a process of change. You yourself are subject to constant alteration and gradual decay. So too is the whole universe.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 9.19

Everything in life is in a constant process of change. Like the time of the day, the seasons of the year, the water flowing in the river, and every single thing that makes up our lives. Even our reasons for why we do what we do, our self-esteem, and, especially, our emotions are all subject to this process.

One of the compelling influences of this process is our emotion. When something triggers an emotion, say fear, we lose our ability to focus on things we are working on. We think that we will make a mistake or fail. Our focus is switched to the fear rather than the task at hand. If that continues, the result of our work will not be that good.

Sooner or later someone will call us out for not delivering good results. If our mind is not clear, we will take it negatively as our initial impulse. Then ingress of negative thoughts will start to flood our minds. We will feel that we are becoming less of ourselves, we are undeserving and we are never enough. Until such time that our self-esteem is adversely affected.

When our self-esteem goes down, it will result in more problems that will not only affect ourselves but also the people around us. We will start having an unhealthy relationship with others. We will shy away from people and from taking necessary steps to help ourselves. We do not see ourselves as someone who can rise in our careers. And we will not see our goals being achieved.

Then, our life will start to crumble before our eyes. When that happens, whether we like it or not, the only choice we have is to change.


When something is not working, it will not help us if we will only get upset by it, or if we will wrongly assume that we do not have a choice to change the situation. In fact, we always have a choice, and that is our choice to change the situation.

If we are losing the game, change the strategy.

If we are losing our minds, change the thought.

If we are losing our way, change the direction.

To change the object of our aim or of our thought is a way to start feeling better again.

As I mentioned above, the reason being why we cannot start making progress is that we are afraid to do something because we fear that we will fail again.

But instead of being afraid of failing again, why not be fearless of trying again.


Trying things out is a way to know what we are able to do and what we want to do. It can be a way for us to progress or see traces of improvement. The retention of information is much greater if we experience it ourselves. As others say experience is the best teacher.

Marcus Aurelius is right that all things are in a process of change. Progress is change. Improvement is change.

Remember, if we do not want to remain in the same place, we have to change.

What do you think about my thoughts you just read? Comment them below.

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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