What We Devote Our Energy To…

“Pointless bustling of processions, opera arias, herds of sheep and cattle, military exercises. A bone flung to pet poodles, a little food in the fish tank. The miserable servitude of ants, scampering of frightened mice, puppets jerked on strings.

Surrounded as we are by all of this, we need to practice acceptance. Without disdain. But remembering that our own worth is measured by what we devote our energy to.”

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 7.3

Dabbling with Stoicism

I read parts of the Meditations by Marcus Aurelius last year. Reading it helped me glimpse into the mind of a certified Philosopher-King. It was also a good exercise in understanding what a branch of philosophy had to say about the human condition and how we can live our lives meaningfully.

In recent years, Stoicism received a lot of attention from bloggers and Podcasters from the tech industry and the self-improvement community. It seems to be a good antidote to the constant hustle and bustle of our days. As we become more connected to our gadgets and to incessant online noise, people need a way, a strategy to deal with too many stimulus.

At the end of each year, I usually conduct a personal evaluation. Then I plan for the upcoming years. I don’t use the term “Resolutions” but I identify goals that I want to accomplish at certain dates of the year.

This year, 2019, is the first one in a decade that I have not effectively planned for. Our office is in a state of flux. Transition. A lot of uncertainties are up in the air.

We also welcomed a new baby boy to our family! And we are separated from our families thousands of miles apart. To say that it’s been crazy busy would be an understatement.

I hear Marcus Aurelius’ disdain toward “pointless bustling…”

But there’s no helping it. Winds of uncertainties can blow from every direction at some season of our lives.

That’s where I’m at.

Which is why the last part of the quote above appeals to me today. It’s an invitation towards acceptance and to keep moving, keep working, and devoting our energy to that which is most important.

Surrounded as we are by all of this, we need to practice acceptance. Without disdain. But remembering that our own worth is measured by what we devote our energy to.”

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