37. When you pretend you can do what you cannot do, you demean yourself and prevent someone who might do the job from doing it. Someone who might turn out to be a friend.
At last, it is time for you to decide what universe you are a part of and what powers are in that universe. At last you must realize that you have only a short time in this universe, a short time in which to clear away the clouds from your mind. After that, your time … More Marcus Aurelius, from Exhortations to Himself
When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from bad. But I have seen the beauty of the good, and the ugliness of the bad, and I have realized that … More Marcus Aurelius, from Exhortations to Himself.
How am I using my soul right now? I need to ask myself this. Am I employing my reason? Whose soul do I have—that of a child? Is my soul young, old? That of a tyrant? A domesticated animal? A wild beast? (V. 11)
A saying of the philosopher Epicurus has come down to us in Latin: Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo. Translated, that is: I did not exist. Then, I existed. Now I don’t. I don’t care.
Think back on all those who have been, those you have known and those you haven’t. Now, remind yourself: Where are they? Nowhere, or nobody knows where. Human beings are like smoke and what has been won’t be again in this infinite cosmos. Then there is you, here, now. What do you feel compelled to … More Marcus Aurelius, from Exhortations to Himself