Friday, November 18, 2022

Daily Stoic Nov 18

 Our rational nature moves freely forward in its impressions when we:

  1. Accept only what is true
  2. Work for the common good
  3. Match our needs and wants with what is in our control
  4. Embrace what nature has in store for us

Marcus Aureluis (paraphrased by Ryan Holiday)

Today's meditation seems to me to be a refresher on what leading a stoic life means. Fighting against these basic precepts in life means a long and fruitless struggle against nature and our best impulses. 

So understand your limitations, and strive to work for the common good within these restrictions to see what is possible.

Even our inspirational quotes look for us to do the impossible.

I'm not saying limits are inherently good or bad, they are just the limits. Fore example, the legal speed limit above is 70mph. That is a given. You can exceed this speed at your choice and maybe or maybe not pay a penalty. 

But you cannot break the limit of the top speed of the car, nor the safety of the road. So the inspiration REALLY says, the limits we place on ourselves aren't the real limitations. Define what the real limitations are, then you decide what to do.


  1. Conundrum. How does one understand what the "real" limitations are? Limitations grow, or can grow, as one learns and experiences new things. And I don't think you can know your true limitations until you try to go beyond what you think they are. So a decision based on limitations can often depend on the urgency of the decision. For example, choosing a career path is not usually an urgent matter and if you're 16 years old should not normally be made based on what most 16 years old know or have experienced. Alternatively, whether you should stop at a red light you are approaching, based on the law and driving experience, in most cases the answer "yes" would be "for the common good."

  2. I agree. It is a conundrum. I think that is why there is a meditation about it. I often think the words used in the originals and the translations don't register now like they did before. We, as humans, can change the world and situations much more than in the past. I try to fold in my beliefs into these lessons.


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