Every effort and action you make counts. Here’s why…
There’s much we should know when it comes to living the best life. To keep the list manageable I bring you 7 things you should know thanks to the sage wisdom of the centuries that still holds true today.
1- Money is cheap. Sure living comfortably is good and even amassing a small fortune. However, when compared to your family, health, and relationships money is cheap. Remember what is important. What will matter most to you on your deathbed?
2- Time is precious. Each moment you have is a gift. Treat it as such. Turning off the television and taking a walk with your loved one is time well spent. Make time to work, play, and relax, but don’t forget the greatest gift you can give and receive is time.
3- It’s not things that upset you. Do you feel like you’re being emotionally jerked around by the circumstances of the day? You’re not alone. Epictetus said, “it’s not things that upset us but our judgments about things”. In other words, it’s how you choose to view events or what others around you do. The more you rage at them, the more control you give them. Detach judgment and observe things for what they are. “It is what it is” perhaps is a good phrase to keep at hand.
4- Plan for adversity- Premeditatio Malorum is Latin for premeditation of adversity. What would you do if X happened? How would you respond? Sometimes it’s hard to know. Keep in mind what unpleasant events you may face. Visualize how you would ideally respond. Then put the negative thought to rest. If a given circumstance does come to pass you’ve already played out the scenario and are more mentally prepared. Perhaps Seneca put it best when he said, “He robs present ills of their power who has perceived their coming beforehand.”
5- Strive for consistency- review your day, decisions, and reactions each night. Where did you do well? Where can you improve? Make a note in your journal. Resolve for one thing- improvement. Seek consistency in your response to events good and bad.
6- Stop attaching values to external events. People do stupid and cruel things. Bad things will happen. That doesn’t mean humanity is lost or that the universe is against you. You are not detaching from your emotions but rather your need to control the world around you. Focus on what you can control.
7- Know the difference between preferring and expecting. Attaching expectations to life is a sure-fire recipe for anxiety, anger, and illness of mind and body. Would you prefer that no one cut you off in traffic? Sure. But if you expect it you’re likely to be disappointed or angry. Would you prefer to have a stress-free day? Of course, but such days are rare. Instead preferring a thing detaches you from the outcome that is outside your control.
Review these seven truisms and make a concerted effort to implement them. That’s the journey I’m on and I’d invite you to join me