Every one of you reacts in a fraction of a second to external stimuli unconsciously and then reap its effect.
The reaction to the external stimuli is due to your expectations towards the situation. Let me explain to you in a moment.
Today, I am going to tell you how to control your response to external stimuli and live peacefully.
These ideas are from the book Stoicism – Meditation By Marcus Aurelius, This is Meditations Book Summary By Marcus Aurelius.
Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from AD 161 to 180, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy.
Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Koine Greek as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement.
So without any delay Let’s get started,
Meditations Book summary:
So imagine you’re looking for a place to rent
for about $1000.
And you find a house that you really like, and I’m the landlord, and I’m going to rent it to you for $1000 but I tell you, “Hey, in a year, I might have to increase it to $1100.”
And you think about it, and you say, “Okay, cool.
This is a good deal.”
Now let’s say a year passes by and I call you and say, “Hey, I’m going to increase your rent to $1100.”
When you hear that, it’s probably not going to affect you that much.
But let me give you another example…
In this example, everything is exactly the
The house, your financial condition, everything.
You move in, but I don’t tell you that I might increase the rent.
So a year goes by, and I call you out of nowhere and say, “Hey, you’ll have to pay me $1100 starting next month.”
So the first example might not necessarily make you the happiest person but whatever, it’s not that big of a deal.
But in the second example, as soon as you hang up, you’re going to start yelling not so nice things about me.
You’re going to be pissed off and angry.
And you’re going to think, how could I do this to you?!
Now here’s the thing…
You’re going to go through that suffering and stress just because you don’t have the right expectations about life.
So let me ask you this, and let’s assume that it’s completely legal for the landlord to increase the rent if he decides to.
“Is it reasonable to expect that if a person
can make more money, he is going to attempt to do so?”
And to that, my answer would be, absolutely.
That is a good, reasonable expectation to have.
So if you had that expectation, and that expectation again is a very realistic expectation to have, you wouldn’t be so phased by the whole thing.
Nothing surprising happened here.
So the first big idea is If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it.
And this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
And the same thing can be applied to everything including tougher things like death and being stabbed in the back by one of your closest friends.
I remember the first few times I got stabbed in the back by a close friend, and it sent me into this anger and depression for weeks.
And I remember the last time it happened about a year ago, and I found out about it, and I was just completely unmoved by it.
And this might seem a little bit pessimistic and it is.
There are bad things that happen in life.
That’s just the reality.
Now, just like with any other philosophy, I would recommend finding a good balance with this…
So for me, when I hang out with a friend, I’m not constantly paranoid about how I’m going to get stabbed in the back or whatever.
I enjoy the moment.
But if or when it does happen, it’s nothing surprising.
I don’t get phased, and angry, and depressed.
Because that is a reasonable expectation to have.
Friends have been stabbing each other in the back ever since friendships even started.
The next big idea, You have power over your mind, not outside events.
Realize this, and you will find strength.
And I talk about this all the time, so I’m not going to go into detail with it.
But just going back to the whole renting example, basically, the exact thing happened to me just a few days ago.
And once, I didn’t get angry and pissed off,
because there was nothing surprising about it,
that’s something that I fully expect.
I don’t have control over it.
What do I have control over?
I said, “Okay, if this is not a good deal, then I can go find a better deal and live somewhere else.”
Or, if this is still a good deal, “Then I’m going to stay here, and it’s not going to affect my life.
I’m not going to be angry.
I’m not going to be worried and stressed.
I’m going to be happy.”
That is it.
Marcus Aurelius says, “Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.”
And it’s so true.
Happiness is all about the quality of thoughts you put in your head.
All you have to do is put the right ones in there.
The next big idea is When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are.
You will realize that there is no need to
be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you.
So I know a lot of other YouTube creators, and when we talk, this is one of the biggest things that comes up.
How do you deal with all the criticism?
How do you deal with this really messed up stuff that you get on a daily basis?
And there are many ways, but what Marcus Aurelius is talking about is one of them.
No one who has a great life or is successful is ever going to criticize you.
And don’t just trust me on this, let me ask you a question…
I want you to imagine Elon Musk or Bill Gates,
or anyone who you think is successful or has a great life themselves, commenting below and calling me a faggot.
I want you to try to imagine that.
I will guarantee you that that is never going
Even when I look at my life and think, “When was I the most critical of others,” it was exactly during the times that I sucked to myself when I had the most horrible, negative, depressing life myself.
So now that we’ve established that whoever criticizes you cannot possibly have a great life and be successful themselves,
why would you even give the slightest weight to their opinion?
And finally, the last big idea, How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.
So I talk about how I spent a lot of time with my grandma as a kid.
And she was probably the most miserable human
I’ve ever known.
And here’s what she did all day.
She’d wake and start bitching and gossiping about everyone we knew.
Did you hear that this person got married
to that person?
Did you hear that this person might have slept
with that person?
Did you hear about what the government did
And I’d look at her and I’d think, “But what are you doing right?”
All you do is wake up and bitch and gossip about how everyone else is so horrible.
Now look, there are plenty of things that I don’t like.
There are plenty of things that the government doesn’t do well, and I could criticize them all day.
But I just don’t have that kind of time.
I don’t have the time to worry about who’s marrying who and who’s having sex with who.
Why would I waste my time on that?
I can go on a walk and enjoy nature for an hour,
or I can sit at home and be negative and worry about what other people around me are doing.
What am I doing right?
And I guarantee you, you’re not doing anything right when you spend your entire day worrying, bitching, and gossiping about how some guy married some other girl
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a great book and has a huge number of positive reviews online.
I understood the reason behind the huge number of reviews only after I read that book.
I hope you love these ideas from Meditations By Marcus Aurelius.
Share your thoughts in the comment section below💭.