In your actions, don't procrastinate. In your conversations, don't confuse. In your thoughts, don't wander. In your soul, don't be passive or aggressive. In your life, don't be all about business.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.51
If it were easy to not procrastinate, we’d all get so much more accomplished. I know that a few times, I’ve put off writing the blog until the last few moments of the day. Some days it’s REALLY difficult, nigh impossible, to light passion’s Fire.
Language, by its nature, can be both clarity-bringing AND confusion-causing… even under the best circumstances. Double or triple that factor when trying to communicate through writing. Unless we’re trying to maliciously cause confusion, I’d wager that we’re all doing our best.
Speaking for myself, as an INTP, I relish in my wandering thoughts. Like Tolkien said, “Not all those who wander are lost.” When we give our minds space to wander, we often times find the most remarkable things. Sometimes we run into things that we don’t want to run into. But, our mindscape is as random and dangerous as anywhere in meatspace, and while mental-wandering, we have to be prepared for whatever may arise.
Regarding the soul, I can see where Marcus is coming from… though I’d like to offer a reframing of his words. How about: In your soul, temper it’s intensity.
Finally, I’ve nothing to say about the last “rule” other than: people who can’t find joy in life and bury themselves in their work are still buried. Just sayin’.
Marcus wants us to continually practice leading the disciplined life, and to learn how to appreciate the austere elegance of moderation. Perhaps it’s because he understands the importance of living in this way, the author of The Daily Stoic wants to frame Marcus’ wisdom as “rules”.
However, I’m approaching them from a polytheist perspective. That is to say, I’m seeing them beyond-the-binary and taking away the “good/bad” dualism inherent in the original thinking. When coming at Marcus’ work from that direction, I get to appreciate that the above “rules”, much like Captain Jack’s pirate code, are more like a set of guidelines.
So, me hearties… follow ye “rules”, & gets ta livin’!
(See y’all tomorrow)