Marcus Aurelius, thought leader of Rome, fundamentally taught how to be a better person. His incredible wisdom and his ability to communicate his message through story, birthed the right for human beings to embrace obstacles as opportunities. In a world of constant change, he believed that one must embrace the present therefore guard the quality of your thoughts as if your life depends on it.
What does that mean in the 21st century?
How is this relevant today? Let me share how his teachings influence how we can enrich our lives and the lives of others.
Build an inside team
Eliminate the internal obstacles by building an inside team that nurtures, supports and challenges you. Create a team that will work in harmony - your beliefs, values, attitude and your emotional aptitude all working like the inside of a watch. When one turns, automatically, the other kicks in and flow is created.
Never stop being a student
The journey of learning is never ending, continuous and if you think you have reached your destination, l am about to completely turn your world upside down. There is no end point. There is no destination. We are always the student irrespective of how many days, months or years you have immersed yourself in your journey.
It flaws me that so many throw around the word's master, expert, guru all based on a number they have identified to give them status or a level of authority. Whatever happened to humility? Whatever happened to serve from a place of being forever young in your learning journey?
Be of service to others
Pay attention. How often don't we pay attention, get distracted or the mind wanders? When you add more value to someone's day, someone's life you are honoring them. We consistently talk about CANI - continuous and never-ending improvements - what about continuous never-ending VALUE? What if we continuously found ways to add value, over and over and over again? What if we gave people a reason enough to take notice, to re-discover who they are and fall more and more deeply in love with themselves?
Just a thought.
Who you allow to speak into your life is a sacred choice
Be wise who you open the door to your greatest investment - YOU. When you commit to you and roll the red carpet out to engage a mentor, you create a relationship that opens your mind to new ideas, possibilities and opportunities.
On the other hand, have you had a pain in your neck, you have gone to see a chiropractor and you walk in one way and perhaps walk out with unexpected injuries, battered and bruised? Opening the door to a mentor can be the same. Be wise who you let walk through the door.
The mentor-ship relationship can be graceful dance - a bit of waltz, thrown in with some flamenco and hip hop all in one. It's an evolving process where you give as much as you get. Connect with a mentor of excellence, choose wisely and look for that visionary leader with recognized experience to accelerate your learning.
The golden egg
Golden opportunities are sprinkled all around. Not often the glamorous types of opportunities. I'm talking about the ginormous tragedies, the roadblock obstacles and the setbacks. All present an opportunity to practice excellence. To look within and appreciate the beautiful gifts we are given.
We are never prepared for external events, we can't control death or people exploiting others. What we can do is build our inner team to work in harmony to move through the events with grace rather than being immobilized. We all experience grief and loss in life however we choose how long we wish to stay in the space. Be loyal to the feelings however don't live there.
Bulldoze the notion of giving up. Great philosophers, scientists and educators throughout the world consistently learn, apply, test and review - they don't give up. Find the golden egg amongst the chaos, leave a footprint within the dream and imprint the world with your unique blueprint. Don't you think it is time?
Time is our most precious resource
The scarcity mindset thrives in our society, yet history was born with thoughts of death at the forefront of their minds. Opportunities consistently are birthed everyday, to delve deeper and to immerse ourselves in achievement, broaden our experiences and to seek improvement through growth.
Yet to this very day, we run studies asking people in nursing homes and palliative care do they have any regrets? What if we embodied the notion of living, not surface living, deep soulful living? What about driving the quality of our life and stepping into fulfilling moments? Reconnecting with internal respect, generosity, kindness and humility? Could it be possible that we could attain the innate art of fulfillment? How would we live our life everyday? How would the 21 st century be remembered in history? What would them say about us? More importantly, what will your tombstone write?