Sometimes I get up in the mornings and wish that nothing would ever go wrong if I could just live day by day without anything bad happening or not making any mistakes. I wonder what it would be like. I know you are probably saying: “that is not how life is, who are you kidding” right?! Left to our own devices with enough opportunities we all eventually mess up and things do happen that are bad.
That is why we have so many rules that we come up with for ourselves. In my recent studies of ancient philosophy, my favourite person has become Marcus Aurelius because he discovered that self-meditation was what got him through the rough patches in his life. He called it” epithets for the self”. It’s kinda like saying: know what you stand for and stick to that, hold the line.
In Search of a Good Life
Living a good life is about coming up with your own values, your own rules and your own way of living your life. In practice, it’s a set of rules you live by. This ensures that you are going to stay on the right path and that you won’t compromise your standards so that you don’t deviate from the life you want to have.
I’ve been developing my own set of rules and standards to live by. Yes life does happen and life does get in the way, but for the most part, I work on rectifying things and getting back on track. I have a set of 12 rules and in this article, I will share the first 6.
Rule 1: Own My Morning
Sometimes I have trouble getting out of bed and believe me it is hard. But I own my morning and I get out of bed so that I can have a productive day. I most definitely want to stay under the covers and sleep a few more hours. But I get up because I know that if I own my morning then the rest of the day will turn out well. My daily morning habits are:
- Work out first thing in the morning: get it out of the way otherwise, it won’t happen.
- Journal: Great historical people insist on journaling to clarify the mind, provide room for quiet and it is a private reflection just to name a few good things about journaling.
- Deep-Focused Work: Concentrate on the task at hand and do it like it’s the most important thing in your life. 3 hours of deep work is better than 18 hours of half-ass work.
Rule 2: Focus on What’s in Your Control
Marcus Aurelius always wanted to simplify and separate matters so that he could stay in control of what was in his control. He used to say that “it does not matter what other people say or think, it only matters what you do or think.” Think about your problems and separate them into categories.
- What can you control about your problems?
- What is out of your control?
Then only focus on what you can control and nothing else because that which you can not control will work itself out in the long run, it always does.
Rule 3: Do not Entertain Imagined Troubles
Seneca advice people to “do not be unhappy before the crisis comes, do not exaggerating, or imagine all the bad things, do not anticipate, and do not let sorrow stay in your daily life” Don’t let anxiety or worry get the best of you.You will suffer more from your imagined troubles than your actual reality.
Stay in the present, do not let your imagination overtake reality.
Rule 4: Treat Success and Failure the Same
You are the same whether you lose a limb, get fired, or become a millionaire. You are the same when you are at the top of the world or down on your luck. Do not lose yourself because of the things that happen to you or around you. Don’t be overly joyful when something good happens and don’t be overly sad when something bad happens in your life.
Rule 5: Do One Thing Every Day and Do It Well
Do one thing every day that is important to you and curb your procrastination tendencies. Stay humble, persistent and work to improve every single day. Acquire something that will fortify you against misfortunes.
Rule 6: Make Amazing Choices
Make better choices because it makes you feel better and because you want to create a better life. What does your life look like? Are you in shape? Do you want to eat better? Do you want to be around for your kids when they grow up? Take the choice that challenges you to make a better life.
How do you have a good life? Well, you have to create it. If you are waiting around for things to change so that you can have a good life then you’ll be wasting your time. Life doesn’t change on its own. You have to put in the work and effort to make tiny changes in order to see your life differently. How do you show up every day in your life? Do you give up easily? Are you always angry at the world?
We are all dying each day and our existence in this world is brief. How are you making a difference? ‘Til next time! ~ Cristie