After reading these quotes, let me know, comment about what the thought of death inspires within you.
Act With Purpose
“Do external things distract you? Then make time for yourself to learn something worthwhile; stop letting yourself be pulled in all directions. But make sure you guard against the other kind of confusion. People who labor all their lives but have no purpose to direct every thought and impulse toward are wasting their time—even when hard at work.”
What purpose are you living for?
Here is A 3-Step Process to Begin Creating YOUR Life
More helpful resources:
Set long-term goals & Focus
& Then Stop Looking Back & Live Life Like You’re Driving
17 Marcus Aurelius Quotes On Dealing with Other People
1) “Don’t pay attention to other people’s minds. Look straight ahead, where nature is leading you, through the things that happen to you through your own actions.”
2) “When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and unfriendly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil.”
3) “Welcoming wholeheartedly whatever comes- whatever were assigned—not worrying too often, or with any selfish motive, about what other people say. Or do, or think.”
4) “Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people—unless it affects the common good. It will keep you from doing anything useful. You’ll be too preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and what they’re saying, and what they’re thinking, and what they’re up to, and all the other things that throw you off and keep you from focusing on your own mind.”
5) “God did not intend my happiness to rest with someone else.”
6) “You want praise from people who kick themselves every 15 minutes, the approval of people who despise themselves…..why do you want approval from people who don’t know where or who they are on this planet?”
7) “The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do. Asking yourself: Is this fair? Is this the right thing to do?”
8) “So other people hurt me? That’s their problem. Their character and actions are not mine.”
9) “So remember this principle when someone threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.”
10) “That to expect bad people not to injure others is crazy. It’s to ask the impossible. And to let them behave like that to other people but expect them to exempt you is arrogant—the act of a tyrant.”
11) “If they’ve injured you, then they’re the ones who suffer for it.”
12) “Other people’s mistakes? Leave them to their makers.”
13) “If anyone can refute me-show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective— I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.”
14) “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”
15) “Don’t be put off by other people’s comments and criticism.”
16) “Not to be distracted by their darkness. To run straight for the finish line, unswerving.”
17) A straightforward honest person should be like someone who stinks: when you’re in the same room with him, you know it. But false straightforwardness is like a knife in the back. False friendship is the worst. Avoid it at all costs. If you’re honest and straightforward and mean well, it should show in your eyes. It should be unmistakable.”
4 Important Pieces Of Career Advice I Learned While Interning With Ryan Holiday
When I landed an editorial internship with Ryan Holiday in 2018, I felt like I made it. Fame and wealth were on the way!
At the time, I felt like I had accomplished what was necessary and was on my way to the top. What I didn’t know at the time was the heroic responsibility that comes with this type of work, and I momentarily lost sight of my purpose.
What I learned is that the life-changing writing work we do as authors, writers, transformers, and creators is why we do it.
It’s not about getting famous and wealthy. It’s truly not.
It’s about becoming the best version of ourselves and creating work that helps others do the same. The fame and wealth, if meant to be, are by-products.
Now, as you adventure toward your purpose, your why, here are four things I learned while interning with Ryan Holiday that may serve as guides.
This article was first published on the Collective World website.
Love your fate
We get back up.
We carry on.
Your fate is what is destined for you specifically.
You are born into this world in the current form you are in, and you have no say in how you are born.
Your life has been written for you.
It seems the practical choice is to love your fate and flow with it. The other choice, like the stoics talked about, is to try to fight your fate – which is like a dog putting it’s hind legs in the dirt trying not to be carried by the cart which is pulling it.
It’s better to let go and flow with life than to resist and be painfully pulled.
Friedrich Nietzsche said:
“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it, but love it.”
Your life has been designed for you to live, and for you to love.
It’s better to embrace and love your fate than to resist and be dragged.
“To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.”
—Michel de Montaigne
Memento Mori is Latin for “remember you will die”
This may appear to be a frightening remembrance, and it is to the ego, but Memento Mori is liberating to the human Soul.
“Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”
Meditating on the thought of death can help loosen & release the ever so tightening & clinging grasp of ego in our lives.
Death of the ego gives birth to the Soul, and this world could use some Soul right about now.
“While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.”
—Leonardo da Vinci
Intro to Stoicism
Oxford Dictionary defines Stoicism as “an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge; the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.”
At its core, Stoicism is about trusting life as it is, not how we think it should be.
It’s about focusing on what’s in our control — our lives, and acting virtuously, not being pushed and pulled by our emotions.
Practicing Stoicism helps us see life objectively, giving us an understanding that we are not the center of the Universe — That the Universe is indifferent to our thoughts and feelings, and that that’s perfectly okay. This knowledge helps us live less selfishly and more cooperatively.
Stoicism has been practiced for thousands of years by numerous people. Other than Zeno, a few famous early practitioners of Stoicism were Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus, about 2,000 years ago. The modern day leader in Stoicism is Ryan Holiday, who gave me the opportunity to intern with him; a modern day apprenticeship. There were many events that led to this, it didn’t just happen, which you can read how it all came to be here on Thought Catalog.
During this time Holiday deepened my knowledge of Stoicism, inspiring me to apply these practices into my life — which doesn’t make someone perfect, it just makes us more Stoic, which you can decide if that’s good or bad.
I contemplated Stoic ideas before knowing they were Stoic ideas, thinking they were just far-out thoughts. Then, when reading Holiday’s book recommendations, I came across Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and devoured it. It was one of those books that I got pulled into and didn’t want to leave. I highly recommend reading the whole book, but here’s a link to some of Meditation’s main ideas for now.
Below are 4 fundamental Stoic principles you can begin practicing today:
1) Asking, “Is this within my control?”
—If yes, ask, “How can I act virtuously in this moment?”
—If not, ask, “How can I act virtuously in this moment?”
Most of life isn’t in our control, but our response is.
—This is the idea that all things are connected and mutually interdependent.
Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, in Meditations, wrote:
“The universe made rational creatures for the sake of each other, with an eye toward mutual benefit based on true value and never for harm.”
Here is a YouTube video speech given by Carl Sagan to view life from a perspective outside of yourself, thus, growing in the practice of Sympatheia.
3) Amor Fati
—The idea and practice of loving your fate.
—Things often don’t happen as we’d like them to happen, but we can learn to appreciate all that happens to us by practicing Amor Fati.
Here is a link to an ancient proverb, telling us a story that shows us how when we think something “bad” has happened, it can be good in disguise, and when we think something “good” has happened, it can be bad in disguise. It’s one of my favorite stories and has broadened my way of thinking.
Nietzsche is quoted saying, “my formula for greatness in a human being is Amor Fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it, but love it.”
Epictetus, born a slave, said: “Demand not that things happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do, and you will go on well.”
4) Memento Mori
—Remember you will die.
—This idea scares some people, but it inspires Stoics.
“If everything is ephemeral, what does matter? Right now matters. Being a good person and doing the right thing right now, that’s what matters and that’s what was important to the Stoics. Be humble and honest and aware.”
We all know we are going to die one day, but it is a subject rarely talked about. We’d rather ignore the fact of death instead of embrace it, so it ends up scaring the hell out of us. Let’s start discussing the topic of death. Let’s let it inspire us to live life wholly, focusing on what’s important, keeping in mind we won’t live forever, and that’s okay.
Here are some inspiring Memento Mori related quotes:
“Every third thought shall be my grave.”
“People who are excited by posthumous fame forget that the people who remember them will soon die too. And those after them in turn. Until their memory, passes from one to another like a candle flame, gutters and goes out.”
“So this is how a thoughtful person should await death: not with indifference, not with impatience, not with disdain, but simply viewing it as one of the things that happens to us. Now you anticipate the child’s emergence from its mother’s womb; that’s how you should await the hour when your soul will emerge from its compartment.”
“Stop whatever you’re doing for a moment and ask yourself: Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?”
“To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.”
Michel de Montaigne
“Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”
These are just a few Stoic principles you can begin practicing today. I recommend checking out dailystoic.com for more articles on Stoicism, reminders to:
Trust the unknown.
Love your fate.
How to Work with a Leader in Your Industry
First, what’s your industry?
I know, you’d think I wouldn’t have to ask that, but a lot of people don’t know what kind of work they’re in, or they hate what they do.
This post is geared toward you who are pursuing your dream work, but it’s a recipe that will work in any industry.
I have used this technique to meet famous people on movie and tv sets as an extra, and I now teach acting classes.
Another “coincidence” happened a couple years ago when I was deep into writing – I had been blogging for years before that, but I was definitely feeling more confident in my writing around this time(although looking back at it, it wasn’t that great). But I was confident in it! And it was pretty good.
Anyway! Ryan Holiday was and still is a writer I look up to. I was scrolling through his book recommendations in early April of 2018 I believe it was. I came across the book Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, it piqued my interest so I got it and read it in like a day or two, it was so good, one of my favorite books of all time. But then a few days later an intuitive thought led me to checking out Tattered Cover book store’s website, to see if any authors I knew were coming to Denver for a book signing. I hadn’t checked that site in months, literally, and guess who was coming to a book signing two days from that day? Ryan Holiday. I felt a strange sensation go through my whole body.
So, point two — After you know your industry, who do you look up to in it? Who are the leaders you’d love to work with?
A lot of people never think it can happen to them, but it can! Part of this technique is just thinking about who you’d like to work with, because the mind is an extremely powerful thing. So think about it.
Next — I saw an opportunity in this book signing. Opportunities surround us more than we know — they are like objects in the background, we don’t pay attention to them because well, there’s more convenient things to focus on. But they are there.
So I took time to hand write a letter for Ryan, giving my appreciation to him, the work he’s done, and the influence it has had in my life. I included my email toward the end of it and mentioned that I had been writing for some years now and would love to work with him if there were any openings. A few weeks later I get an email from him with a trial assignment if I was interested in the position. If that’s not magic then I don’t know what is. Who knows, but I was really fucking excited. I did the assignment, got the position, did the work, and learned so much. I’m still learning from him, and am grateful for that opportunity. Him being a best selling author and world speaker definitely didn’t need me, and although I wrote a good amount of content, he did so much more for me by giving me that opportunity.
So that’s another thing — if you do get an opportunity with a leader in your industry, stay humble. They’re doing you a favor, not the other way around.
Then from there, do the work.
Put in the time.
Never stop learning.
But remember that it all begins with an idea.
20 Stoic Related Quotes in Response to the Coronavirus
We’re all impacted by the coronavirus, even if we don’t have it ourselves. It is impacting the stock market, jobs, lives, everything related to our species.
We often can’t control what happens to us, the Buddha said that life is suffering, but we can choose how we respond to what happens to us.
Below are 20 Stoic related quotes, reminders to Stoic practitioners to focus on what’s in our control.
Stay safe. Stay clean. Spread love.
1) “When a situation is within your control, take action. When a situation is outside your control, make preparations.”
2) “We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”
3) “Nothing external to you has any power over you.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
4) “Comfort makes you weaker. We need some variability, some stressors. Not too much, but just enough.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
5) “The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.”
6) “Your main target should be to find and develop your own unique individuality and not let your focus be sidetracked and drift to external things”
7) “Peace is more of an internal settlement rather than what is visible on the external.”
8) “When most people set out to change their lives, they often focus on all the external stuff, like a new job or a new location or new friends or a new romantic prospects and on and on. The reality is that changing your life starts with changing the way you see everything in your life.”
9) “A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.”
10) “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”
11) “The human being is a self-propelled automaton entirely under the control of external influences. Willful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float tossed about by the waves of a turbulent sea.”
12) “Stoicism is not a matter of gritting your teeth. It’s about seeing things differently so that you do not need to grit your teeth.”
13) “The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man…It is more powerful than external circumstances.”
14) “The sign of an intelligent people is their ability to control emotions by the application of reason.”
15) “The fools are preoccupied by things they can’t control. That’s why they are tense. The wise are indifferent to things they can’t control. That’s why they are calm.”
16) “I am inclined to think that the power of wisdom is better shown by a display of calmness in the midst of provocation.”
17) “A man’s most urgent necessity is neither happiness or money. It is wisdom. For it is wisdom that he will need to navigate the turbulent waters of his day to day existence without succumbing to the ocean of turmoils or to the empty road of prescriptions.”
18) “The wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win.”
19) “Happiness is what people seek. Reality is what hits them. Disappointment is what they get. Detachment is what they need.”
20) “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
39 Marcus Aurelius Quotes to Expand and Deepen Your Thinking
1) “Look into their minds, at what the wise do and what they don’t.”
2) “Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand, and ask, ‘why is this so unbearable? Why can’t I endure it?’ You’ll be embarrassed to answer.”
3) “God sees all our souls freed from their fleshly containers, stripped clean of their bark, cleansed of their grime. If you learn to do the same, you can avoid a great deal of distress.”
4) “You can discard most of the junk that clutters your mind—things that exist only there—and clear out space for yourself: —By comprehending the scale of the world. —By contemplating infinite time. —By thinking of the speed with which things change—each part of everything; the narrow space between our birth and death; the infinite time before; the equally unbounded time that follows.”
5) “Nothing that goes on in anyone else’s mind can harm you. Nor can the shifts and changes in the world around you. —Then where is harm to be found? —In your capacity to see it. Stop doing that and everything will be fine. Let the part of you that makes that judgment keep quiet no matter what the body attaches itself to.”
6) “The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception.”
7) “Beautiful things of any kind are beautiful in themselves and sufficient to themselves. Praise is extraneous. The object of praise remains what it was—no better and no worse.—Is an emerald suddenly flawed if no one admires it???”
8) “Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, thats when he has you in his spell.”
9) “Things are wrapped in such a veil of mystery that many good philosophers have found it impossible to make sense of them. Even the stoics have trouble. Any assessment we make is subject to alteration—just as we are ourselves.”
10) “That nothing belongs to anyone. Children, body, life itself—all of them come from the same source.”
11) “Characteristics of the rational soul: Self-perception, self-examination, and the power to make of itself whatever it wants. —It reaps its own harvest. —It reaches its intended goal, no matter where the limit of its life is set. No matter which task you pick-it has fulfilled its mission, done its work completely. So that it can say, ‘I have what I came for.’—
—It surveys the world and the empty space around it, and the way its put together. It delves into the endlessness of time to extend its grasp and comprehension of the periodic births and rebirths the world goes through. It knows that those who come after us will see nothing different, and those who came before us saw no more than we do.—Affection for its neighbors. Truthfulness. Humility. Not to place anything above itself.”
12) “Give yourself a gift: the present moment.”
13) “If you can cut yourself—your mind—free of what other people do or say, of what you’ve said or done, of the things that you’re afraid will happen, the impositions of the body that contains you and the breath within, so the mind is freed from fate, brought to clarity, and lives life on its own recognizance—doing what’s right, accepting what happens, and speaking the truth—
—If you can cut free of impressions that cling to the mind, free of the future and the past—can make yourself ‘a sphere rejoicing in its perfect stillness’ And concentrate on living what can be lived (The present moment) —-then you can spend the time you have left in tranquility. And in kindness. And at peace with the spirit within you.”
14) “Alexander and Caesar and Pompey. Compared with Diogenes, Heraclitus, Socrates?? The philosophers knew the what, the why, the how. Their minds were their own. —The others?? Nothing but anxiety and enslavement.”
15) “People ask, have you ever seen the gods you worship? How can you be sure they exist? Answers—Just look around….I’ve never seen my soul either, and yet I revere it —I Know they exist because I’ve felt their power over and over.”
16) “So keep this refuge in mind: the back roads of your self. Above all, no strain and no stress. Be straightforward. Look at things like a man, like a human, like a mortal.”
17) “External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.”
18) “So too a healthy mind should be prepared for anything. The one that keeps saying ‘Are my children all right?’ Or ‘everyone must approve of me’ is like eyes that can only stand pale colors, or teeth that can handle only mush.”
19) “Wash yourself clean. With simplicity, with humility, with indifference to everything but right and wrong.”
20) “Don’t be disturbed. Un-complicate yourself. Something happens to you. Good. It was meant for you by nature, woven into the pattern from the beginning.”
21) “Pray for others and pray not to feel fear, or desire, or grief… —Isn’t it better to do what’s up to you?? Like a free man! —Start praying like this and you’ll see.
—Not “some way to sleep with her” but a way to stop wanting to.
—Not “some way to get rid of him” but a way to stop trying.
—Not “some way to save my child” but a way to lose your fear.
REDIRECT your prayers like that, and watch what happens.”
22) “I am part of a world controlled by nature. I have a relationship with other, similar parts. And with that in mind I have no right, as a part, to complain about what is assigned me by the whole. Because what benefits the whole can’t harm the parts, and the whole does nothing that doesn’t benefit it.”
23) “And why is it so hard when things go against you? If it’s imposed by nature, accept it gladly and stop fighting it. And if not, work out what your own nature requires, and aim at that, even if it brings you no glory.”
24) “That no one can say truthfully that you are not a straightforward or honest person. That anyone who thinks that believes a falsehood. The responsibility is all yours; no one can stop you from being honest or straightforward. Simply resolve not to go on living if you aren’t. It would be contrary to the logos.”
25) “Four habits of thought to watch for, and erase from your mind when you catch them. Tell yourself:
—This thought is unnecessary.
—This one is destructive to the people around you.
—This wouldn’t be what you really think.
—That the more divine part of you has been beaten and subdued by the degraded mortal part—the body and its stupid self-indulgence.”
26) “Because to be drawn toward what is wrong and self-indulgent, toward anger and fear and pain, is to revolt against nature. And for the mind to complain about anything that happens is to desert its post. It was created to show reverence-respect for the divine—no less than to act justly.”
27) “If this evil is not of my doing, nor the result of it, and the community is not endangered, why should it bother me? Where is the danger for the community?”
28) “As you move forward in the logos, people will stand in your way. They can’t keep you from doing what’s healthy; don’t let them stop you from putting up with them either. Take care on both counts. Not just sound judgments, solid actions—tolerances as well, for those who try to obstruct us or give us trouble in other ways.”
29) “It’s normal to feel stress and pain as a human, as a normal human being. And if it’s normal how can it be bad?”
30) “That it’s about how you choose to see things. That the present is all we have to live in. Or to lose.”
31) “If the problem is you’re not doing something you think you should be doing, why not just do it?”
32) “The mind in itself has no needs, except for those it creates itself. Is undisturbed, except for its own disturbances. Knows no obstructions, except those from within.”
33) “Keep in mind that when the mind detaches itself and realizes its own nature, it no longer has anything to do with ordinary life-the rough & the smooth.”
34) “Stop perceiving the pain you imagine and you’ll remain completely unaffected.”
35) “Comparing a man who people are mocking and a spring of clear water: —”A man standing by a spring of clear, sweet water and cursing it. While the fresh water keeps on bubbling up. He can shovel mud into it, or dung, and the stream will carry it away, wash itself clean, remain unstained. — To have that. NOT A CISTERN BUT A PERPETUAL SPRING. — HOW?? BY WORKING TO WIN YOUR FREEDOM. HOUR BY HOUR. THROUGH PATIENCE, HONESTY, HUMILITY.”
36) “You need to avoid certain things in your train of thought: everything random, everything irrelevant. And certainly everything self-important or malicious. Get used to winnowing your thoughts so you aren’t ashamed of what you’re thinking.”
37) “The first step: Don’t be anxious. Nature controls it all. And before long you’ll be no one, nowhere—like Hadrian, like Augustus.
The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.”
38) “People try to get away from it all—to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like….By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful-more free of interruptions- than you own soul An instants recollection and there it is: complete tranquility (think of pleasant memories). A quick visit to this mindful place will be enough to ward off all nonsense and send you back ready to fave what awaits you.”
39) “The mind without passions is a fortress. No place is more secure. Once we take refuge there we are safe forever. Not to see this is ignorance. To see it and not seek safety means misery.”