Marcus Aurelius, from “Exhortations to Himself”

If you want tranquility, focus. Isn’t it best to focus on what it takes to be a decent social animal? Such actions bring not only the tranquility that comes from doing well, but also the satisfaction that comes from focusing on doing only a few important things.

Face it—most of what we say and do is not necessary. Stop doing those unnecessary things and have more time and more calm. Keep asking yourself: Is this really necessary?

Do away with not only unnecessary actions, but also unnecessary thoughts. Be done with the unnecessary.

IV, 24.


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