Daily Touch of Inspirations

June 23rd: The long way around

Ryan Holiday, The 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

You could enjoy this very moment all the things you are praying to reach by taking the long way around —if you'd stop depriving yourself of them. —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 12.1


Ask most people what they're working toward and you'll get an answer like: "I'm trying to become a [insert profession]." Or they'll tell you they're trying to get appointed to some impressive committee or position, become a millionaire, get discovered, become famous, whatever. Now you ask a couple more questions, such as "Why are you doing that?" or "What are you hoping it will be like when you get it?" and you find at the very core of it, people want freedom, they want happiness, and they want the respect of their peers.

A Stoic looks at all this and shakes his head at the immense effort and expense we put into chasing things that are simple and straightforward to acquire. It's as if we prefer to spend years building a complicated Rube Goldberg machine instead of just reaching out and picking up what we want. It's like looking all over for your sunglasses and then realizing they were on your head the whole time.

Freedom? That's easy. It's in your choices.

Happiness? That's easy. It's in your choices.

Respect of your peers? That too is in the choices you make.

And all of that is right in front of you. No need to take the long way to get there.

 

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom Perseverance and Art of Living

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