Meditations is the personal diary of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor from AD 121-180. A diary never intended for publication, Aurelius would reflect on what he could do to be a better person, as he struggled to understand himself, his work and the world around him.

This brief review can not capture the richness of this powerful book, whose wisdom has guided so many thinkers, politicians, activists and philosophers hundreds of years later.

Three Take-Aways

  1. Death is a gift.
  2. We control our emotions.
  3. Look inward for peace.

Death is gift

There is a limit to the time assigned to you, and if you don’t use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return.
Marcus Aurelius

Death is our only certainty. Every day we waste is a day we never get back. While this sounds all sound all doom and gloom, once we really grasp this fact – death becomes a friend to keep us in the moment. Once we know we are not here forever, the trivial that keeps us up all night, no longer has that power over us – we can act with a clarity and gratefulness to be alive. It is when we take time for granted that we waste our precious moments. Hearing deaths tick, helps us to act with purpose, love and action.

We control our emotions.

Chose not to be harmed and you will not be harmed
Marcus Aurelius

We can chose to give into negativity or realise the responsibility of our emotions rests in our hands: there is so much power in that.

Strive to make yourself a better person. Control your arrogance. Stop getting angry with stupid and unpleasant people.
Marcus Aurelius

Much of our suffering comes from our perception and interpretation of the events, rather than the events themselves. A belief much in common with Buddhism.

Look inward for peace

Nowhere you can go is more peaceful, more free of interruptions, than your own soul. Retreat to consult your own soul and then return to face what awaits you.
Marcus Aurelius

We already have the answers inside of us. It is when we ignore our inner voice, and act according to outside influences we become unhappy and confused. If we search for happiness, fulfilment and meaning outside we will continue to be unhappy. All we need is already here, in our guts, heart and mind. Listen to your own inner wisdom and act authentically to the vision you have for yourself.

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by Marcus Aurelius

A personal guide on how to live a full and meaningful life.

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