As I stopped today to contemplate, I realized I live very much in the present and my days are filled with things I’ve chosen to do. This hasn’t been always so. Even today, yesterday and probably tomorrow there will be things that come to me that ‘I have to do’ -these are called obligations. Sure enough I’ve enough attitude and competence to get these obligations done, then comes the real test: what I do focus next.
What I’ve past few weeks learned is to focus more and more to the work that is not urgent, but brings the fulfillment. By work I do not only mean professional work, but personal & inner work as well. It’s something that I’ve contemplated upon for several years now and only recently I’ve begun to understand.
What it really means to give 100% to something and feel the sense of progress towards something. Getting really the results that I and the world needs to get.
There is limited time in the day, on earth 24 hours per day and on Mars 24 hours and 37 minutes. Yet what really determines life, is our life span. Life is full of uncertainty.
Stoics tend to say memento mori, remember you are mortal. This together with amor fati, love your fate: what ever present moment you are living – love your fate.
These thoughts are powerful and time tested wisdom that I try to remind myself of every day. In the most recent Daily Stoic newsletter also I learned about third phrase that seems equally powerful – a lesson from Seneca: premeditation malorum. Prepare for the worst.
Stoics are hard to disappoint, because they spend their lives preparing for what ever fate or fortune throws at them.
Especially good stoics are at focusing on what matters and why. There is a lot of things that happens and that are out of our control: weather, law, market, you name it. Then there are other people, who we can influence, but cannot control. Stoics do not really put much of their energy to other peoples’ behaviors either. Instead they focus on what they can control: their attitudes, responses and actions. What can I do?
We can control our conscious parts of the mind and that’s about it. In actuality this does not even contain fully control of our body, because there is so much unconscious processes in the background. Therefore, we there is only a level of thinking and response that is in our conscious control.
We can consciously decide what actions to take. At best life is piling upon meaningful action upon a meaningful action each subsequent moment.
I’ve noticed that meaningful life is fulfilling life. It takes conscious effort. It’s about prioritizing: real life versus online. Books versus television or news. Pleasure now versus pleasure later.
Life is full of choices and reasons and they are all connected. We can map the connections and see the causalities, if we so wish to do. In fact if we do it, we can start to move from insignificant towards meaningful. What I find most fascinating is that as our understanding grows, the map gets more accurate and we might revise it entirely at times.
Happy and fulfilling evening!