Daily Touch of Inspirations

May 14th: Our well-being lies in our actions...

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

Those obsessed with glory attach their well-being to the regard of others, those who love pleasure tie it to feelings, but the one with true understanding seeks it only in their own actions... Think on the character of the people one wishes to please, the possessions one means to gain, and the tactics one employs to such ends. How quickly time erases such things, and how many will yet be wiped away. ~Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.51.59

If your happiness is dependent on accomplishing certain goals, what happens if fate intervenes? What if you're snubbed? If outside events interrupt? What if you do achieve everything but find that nobody is impressed? That's the problem with letting your happiness be determined by things you can't control. It's an insane risk.

If an actor focuses on the public reception to a project- whether critics like it or whether it's a hit, they will be constantly disappointed and hurt. But if they love their performance- and put everything they have into making it the best that they're capable of- they will always find satisfaction in their job. Like them, we should take pleasure from our actions- in taking the right actions- rather than the results that come from them.

Our ambition should not be to win, then, but to play with our full effort. Our intention is not to be thanked or recognized, but to help and to do what we think is right. Our focus is not on what happens to us but on how we respond. In this, we will always find contentment and resilience.
 

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

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