‘The Daily Stoic’: a Manageable New Year’s Resolution

Photo by Steve Johnson

I won’t bore you with comments about New Year’s behaviors, instead I will make what might be a valuable recommendation to some of you.

This powerful book that offers something to read on every day of the year is called ‘The Daily Stoic. 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living’. It contains one-page-long reflections on meditations by Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius and the authors are ‘translating’ ancient philosophy into nowadays’ language.

On 1 January you will gain clarity by reading about control and choice. It will take you less than a week to understand that THIS can bring so much value to your life. Relearning ideas that are still very much relevant, so much so that it’s surprising they’re not mainstream, allows us to think deeper thoughts and feel warmer feelings.

What is your vocation? To be a good person.

Marcus Aurelius

Small Successes Compounding ‘the’ Ultimate Success

The phenomenon of ‘overnight successes’ was something I was willing to believe in, not so long ago. This was giving me a strong excuse not the pursue my dreams because I could not imagine a road from where I was to where I wanted to be. So then magic or unexplained occurrences in patterns of life fit in perfectly with my then-idea of success.

After reading self-help books on learning and exposing myself to ideas of growth, I now understand that success is the reflection of years of work on ourselves. We might not get a pat on the back every time we make progress, but every additional income, every walk with confidence, business idea, feeling of self-appreciation in the present moment took years to be built.

Overnight success? Sure! Overnight unrecognized small successes that rolled over into the perception of one great achievement.

How Gossiping Does Everyone a Disservice

Gossiping is a paradoxical form of communication. It often involves a secret or a detail that is known to a limited amount of people that is further shared with people from the inner circle. One inner circle to another, the information becomes public knowledge.

How does gossiping sabotage our existence?

  1. Energy loss. We put energy into an idea over which we have no control and which brings no value to our life. This brings a feeling of emptiness that more gossiping cannot fill.
  2. Time loss. Instead of bonding with people over things that can help us grow, we use the time to discuss other people.
  3. The balance of the universe always finds a way. Words are a powerful tool of manifestation, used on ourselves or others. Gossiping tends to add emotions from the negative spectrum – envy, hatred, pity. Every thought put in the universe reflects back on us.

Here’s a great exercise: when thinking of sharing ideas or experiences of other people that are not yours to share, stop yourself in the tracks. Set yourself free from this habit, one gossipy thought at a time.

Time for Kind Thoughts, Kind Words and Kind Actions

Broke or rich? Rested or tired? Grateful or depressed? Every situation has one resource in common: time. The day will still be 24 hours long and an hour 60 minutes long. What do you do with it?

One of my personal goals is to surround myself with positive people. To do so, I have to become a positive person first. I have to be calm, calculated, understanding and also ruthless. Cut off time investments that prevent me from achieving the life I want for myself and from being the person I want to become.

How can we use time to achieve positivity?

  1. Allow time for self-growth. Good reads, podcasts, interviews, growing new habits all take time. Positive thinking takes not only positive influences, but also positive habits. Do an audit, what can you change?
  2. Set your own terms. May it be regarding business meetings or family and friends, set a time and a day when you touch base with key people in your life.
  3. Limit interactions with negative people. If there’s someone with whom you have differences or the conversation ends on a negative tone, try and limit the interactions. When you do engage with these people try and bring positivity. You might want to start in small doses.

What It Takes to Be Wrong, to Fail, to Be Misunderstood

Differences and similarities with other people are not accurate forms of self-characterization. We seek allies and perhaps people to call enemies in attempts to understand ourselves. We reduce our world to the people that intersect it and allow them to reflect on us. We shrink into being.

*Be careful* *You might fall* *You might fail* *I told you so* *You’re wrong*

There are vast examples of how not to be wrong, not to fail or be misunderstood. They’re all values of the temple of fear that we worship. What does it take to be wrong, to fail or be misunderstood? Trying in the first place. But guess what? This is exactly what it takes to be right, succeed and be supported and it’s highly unlikely that the second will happen without the first.

As far as the awareness of our five senses informs us, we are beings of this life. We get this one chance to be who we want to be. Start building yourself up and don’t look around you for advise. Look ahead of you. People who made progress understand that skill sharing and shared life lessons are brings value to everyone to involved. Don’t worry about being wrong or failing or being misunderstood. Worry about being quiet, passive, ignorant. Progress happens in motion so start moving.

How to Stay on Course and Follow Through with Your Ideas

Beautiful mistakes do happen, but how do we get our focus back after we’ve been off course for a bit?

Here is where journaling comes in handy. I always thought that the idea of a journal is to complain. It wasn’t until recently when I started dipping into self-help literature that I understood how powerful journaling can be if used right. You’ll most likely experience:

  • clarity of your thoughts and processes
  • a sense of accomplishment by measuring yourself against who you were yesterday and the day before
  • gratitude for the abundance in your life
  • a consistent vision of the future

Things can change, but there’s nothing holding us back from holding on to our dreams and aspirations. I have recently reinvented the wheel in terms of my vision for the future. While it’s exciting that I ended up wanting to explore the same route, it’s amazing how I forgot completely that that was the plan all along. You have a strong image of what you want to achieve? Write it down – may it be a journal, a piece of paper or a window, write it down where you can see it.

‘We can do everything we want in life, but we can’t do it all at the same time’

Tim Ferriss

So if you get ambushed and enthusiastic by dozens of ideas running through your mind, take a deep breath and remember: you’ve got time. Take out your idea book and keep on working on what you’re doing now. And when the time comes to move on to the next venture you’ll have plenty of ideas to choose from. Meanwhile, stay creative.