In Ep# 45 I talked a bit about Stoicism and that was pretty popular. And since that is an interest of mine I wanted to talk a bit more about it.
I read. A lot and different things. From SciFi, to Self-help books to Philosophy. A a while back I found Marcus Aurelius “Meditations”. First I read the Swedish translation and that I cannot recommend. It was really hard to read. After that I bought “Modern Library’s” book with a translation of Gregory Hays in English that is better. It went from being hard to read to being beautiful.
Every day I read Ryan Holidays and Stephen Hanselman’s “The Daily Stoic”. A book that has a page for each day with a short stoic phrase och quote and with this a short analysis, thought a note. It serves as a great reminder to be in touch with the stoic philosophy. My morning routine is built up by walking the dog, make coffee and then read a page of the book. A few days ago book 2 section 14 came up and this is one of my favorites.
Even if you’re going to live three thousand more years, or ten times that, remember: you cannot loose another life then the one you’re living now, or live another one than the one you’re loosing. The longest amounts to the same as the shortest. The present is the same for everyone; its loss is the same for everyone; and it should be clear that a brief instant is all that is lost. For you can’t lose either the past or the future; how can you loose what you don’t have? – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 2.14
The resonates well with me since as you may know I am an avid GTD:er. And that methodology is really focused on attention. What is the best thing to do right now. All the rest is moved out. Making room to focus.
The past is in the past. It is nothing you can do, nothing you can change. I know that is easy to say. But what we can change is our feelings and thoughts about what happened. We can also work on the consequences or the result of that event.
At the same time we cannot control the future. You cannot, manage the future or time. You can make a plan but plans can always change. And since we cannot control the future only impact it. And very similar to the past we can change the thoughts and feeling we have around it. Feelings are to us very real, but they are not. They are only feelings. We can work on changing that. Maybe not easy, but that is how it is.