Our Daily Journey with God
message in a bottle
Daily Touch of Inspirations
November 30th: Follow the Logos
Ryan Holiday, The 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
You don't have to know the meaning of life to enjoy it fully
Ernie Zelinski, 101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting
In the same vein, having the absolute understanding of life - if there ever be one - would undoubtedly make life less enjoyable. Richard Bach in Illusions wrote, "Learn what the magician knows and it's not magic anymore." Not to mention that desperately contemplating the meaning of life can lead to stress, ulcers, high blood pressure, and a lack of success. At the extreme, people frantically searching for the meaning of life have been know to commit suicide.
Even if you discover the absolute meaning of life, you may realize that it doesn't really make any difference to the quality of your existence anyway. Your answer may be that ultimately life is pretty meaningless, that we are all insignificant grains of dust in the grand cosmic scheme of things, that we are all leading random lives, that our existence doesn't affect anything or anyone.
[Javits Wild] When he was in the country, he always asked the people he chanced to meet what "normal life" was like, because he had forgotten. The answers varied, and he gradually came to realize that, even when he was surrounded by other people, he was absolutely alone in the world. He decided to draw up a list of what constituted normal attitudes and behavior, based on what people did rather than on what they said.
There are three areas in which the person who would be wise and good must be trained. The first has to do with desires and aversions- that a person may never miss the mark in desires nor fall into what repels them. The second has to do with impulses to act and not to act- and more broadly, with duty- that a person may act deliberately for good reasons and not carelessly. The third has to do with freedom from deception and composure and the whole area of judgment, the assent our mind gives to its perceptions. Of these areas, the chief and most urgent is the first which has to do with passions, for strong emotions arise only when we fail in our desires and aversions.
—Epictetus, Discourses, 3.2.1-3a
How does your ruling reason manage itself? For in that is the key to everything. Whatever else remains, be it the power of your choice or not, is but a corpse and smoke.
—Marcus Aurelius,Meditations,12.38(resource) Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance and Art of Living
Instead of criticizing someone's success: why not learn something valuable from it?
Ernie Zelinsky, 101 Really Important Things You Already Know but keep forgetting
It's interesting and somewhat dismaying how many people will look up to anyone who wins a multi million- dollar lottery- but will deride anyone who has worked either hard or smart to attain prosperity and real success. Jules Renard put this in proper perspective, however