Time to think…about your intentions

“Let all your efforts be directed to something, let it keep that end in view. It’s not activity that disturbs people, but false conceptions of things that drive them mad.” Seneca, On Tranquility of Mind. Having an end goal in mind is important not only for the direction it gives you – towards a positive […]

Time to think…about insignificant it all is

“Think of the whole universe of matter and how small your share. Think about the expanse of time and how brief – almost momentary – the part marked for you. Think of the workings of fate and how infinitesimal your role.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations It is easy to blow things out of proportion and to […]

Time to think…about it all being equal in the end

“Both Alexander the Great and his mule-keeper were both brought to the same place by death – they were either received into the all-generative reason, or scattered among the atoms.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Sooner or later we’re going to come to the end of our lives, and then we’ll all be equal. Worry not about […]

Time to think…about credit where credit’s due

“It’s in keeping with Nature to show our friends affection and to celebrate their advancement, as if it were our very own. For if we don’t do this, virtue, which is strengthened only by exercising our perceptions, will no longer endure in us.” Seneca, Moral Letters. Recognise the good that others achieve and be gracious […]

Time to think…about doing the right thing for everyone else, not just you

“That which isn’t good for the hive, isn’t good for the bee.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. How strong is your organizational citizenship this week? Consider those group-wide behaviours (rituals, habits, friction, artefacts and even hero- or demon-worship) that influence the wellbeing of the individual. Healthy practice at work needs to go across the organization and not […]

Time to think…about avoiding luxury

“As for me, I would choose being sick over living in luxury, for being sick only harms the body, whereas luxury destroys both the body and the soul, causing weakness and incapacity in the body, and lack of control and cowardice in the soul. What’s more, luxury breeds injustice because it also breeds greediness.” Musonius […]

Time to think…about the interconnectedness of things

“Meditate often on the interconnectedness and mutual interdependence of all things in the universe. For in a sense, all things are mutually woven together and therefore have an affinity for each other – for one thing follows after another according to their tension of movement, their sympathetic stirrings, and the unity of all substance.” Marcus […]

Time to think…about letting your virtue shine forth

“Does the light of a lamp shine and keep its glow until its fuel is spent? Why shouldn’t your truth, justice, and self-control shine until you are extinguished?”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Is there a right time to be yourself? How often do we constrain our inner selves and deny our own needs? Have you ever held […]

Time to think…about reasons, not emotions

“You’ve endured countless troubles – all from not letting your ruling reason do the work it was made for – enough already!” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. On those occasions when you’ve thought and acted like a prize gibbon, what do you remember about the event afterwards? How realistic and accurate were your thoughts at the time? How […]

Time to think…about perfectionism and perseverance

“We don’t abandon our pursuits because we despair of ever perfecting them.” Epictetus, Discourses. Having an all-or-nothing mindset is a sure route to unhappiness. The old adage that it’s not about the winning but about the taking part applies in many fields of your life. Don’t waste much time in worrying about getting it right, winning […]

Time to think…about facts, not hearsay

“Don’t tell yourself anything more than what the initial impressions report. It’s been reported to you that someone is speaking badly about you. This is the report – the report wasn’t that you’ve been harmed. I see that my son is sick – but not that his life is at risk. So always stay within […]

Time to think…about applying yourself to thinking

“Apply yourself to thinking through difficulties – hard times can be softened, tight squeezes widened, and heavy loads made lighter for those who apply the right pressure.” Seneca, On Tranquility of Mind. Apply yourself to logical thinking – abstract, objective, facts-based exploration of the situation you find yourself in – and avoid where possible becoming engrossed […]

Time to think…about silence

“Silence is a lesson learned from the many sufferings of life.”  Seneca, Thyestes. When you can listen to someone a little longer, why talk? We feel the need to justify ourselves – in showing we belong to a group, or displaying our strength in resistance to an insult or perceived wrong being committed, especially when we […]

Time to think…about living in the moment

“At this moment, you aren’t on a journey, but wandering about, being driven from place to place, even though what you seek – to live well – is found in all places. Is there any place more full of confusion than the Forum? Yet even there you can live at peace, if needed.”  Seneca, Moral Letters. […]

Time to think…about your attitude

“Indeed, how could exile be an obstacle to a person’s own cultivation, or to attaining virtue when no one has ever been cut off from learning or practising what is needed by exile?”  Musonius Rufus, Lectures. There is something new in every experience we have. As flowing water means the river is never the same river, […]

Time to think…about acceptance

“That cucumber is bitter, so toss it out! There are thorns on the path, then keep away! Enough said. Why ponder the existence of nuisance? Such thinking would make you a laughing-stock to the true student of Nature, just as a carpenter or cobbler would laugh if you pointed out the sawdust and chips on […]

Time to think…about practice making progress

“The person who has practised philosophy as a cure for the self becomes great of soul, filled with confidence, invincible – and greater as you draw near.” Seneca, Moral Letters. Explore what is at the heart of you. As within, so without. Recognise your needs and values and be prepared to act to fulfil them. Be […]

Time to think…about being understanding

“Some people are sharp and others dull; some are raised in a better environment, others in worse, the latter, having inferior habits and nurture, will require more by way of proof and careful instruction to master these teachings and to be formed by them – in the same way that bodies in a bad state […]

Time to think…about what you’re not doing

“Often injustice lies in what you aren’t doing, not only in what you are doing.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. What might hold you back from taking action in the moment? Emotions. Fear of rejection, of conflict, of looking stupid, perhaps. What happens if you do nothing instead, and see a wrong being committed? Another set of emotions […]

Time to think…about success, rank and ego

“When you see someone often flashing their rank or position, or someone whose name is often bandied about in public, don’t be envious; such things are bought at the expense of life. Some die on the first rungs of the ladder of success, others before they reach the top, and the few that make it […]

Time to think…about choosing your emotions

“Whenever disturbing news is delivered to you, bear in mind that no news can ever be relevant to your reasoned choice. Can anyone break news to you that your assumptions or desires are wrong? No way!” Epictetus, Discourses. We choose the extent to which an external thing or event affects our emotions. We can sympathise with […]

Time to think…about maintaining balance

“Receive without pride, let go without attachment.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. All things shall pass. Recognise what they mean to you in the moment and take note of their emotional influence. At the end, aim to be the same person as before it began. You do not know for sure when something is coming to you or […]

Time to think…about your noble acts

“Nothing is noble if it’s done unwillingly or under compulsion. Every noble deed is voluntary.” Seneca, Moral Letters. When your actions come directly from your heart, there’s a moment when you can feel vulnerable – exposed – as your true colours are on show. How will others judge you? Are you doing the right thing? If […]

Time to think…about getting up in the morning

“Whenever you have trouble getting up in the morning, remind yourself that you’ve been made by nature for the purpose of working with others, whereas even unthinking animals share sleeping. And it’s our own natural purpose that is more fitting and more satisfying.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. What is your purpose – in life, this year, this […]

Time to think…about acting with your will

“As Plato said, every soul is deprived of truth against its will. The same holds true for justice, self-control, goodwill to others, and every similar virtue. It’s essential to constantly keep this in your mind, for it will make you more gentle to all.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. It’s easy to focus on what we didn’t mean […]

Time to think…about reasoned choice

“My reasoned choice is as indifferent to the reasoned choice of my neighbour, as to his breath and body. However much we’ve been made for co-operation, the ruling reason in each of us is master of its own affairs. If this weren’t the case, the evil in someone else could become my harm, and God […]

Time to think…about your aim in life

“To what service is my soul committed? Constantly ask yourself this and thoroughly examine yourself by seeing how you relate to that part called the ruling principle. Whose soul do I have now? Do I have that of a child, a youth…a tyrant, a pet, or a wild animal?” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. We can all be […]