“…Cheerfulness.

Without requiring other people’s help.

Or serenity supplied by others…” ~Marcus Aurelius

 

I came across these words in a book I’m reading called “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius and Gregory Hays.  This is an excerpt when he is reminding himself on “How To Act” as a Roman Emperor. I won’t go into who Marcus Aurelius is, other than he was a Roman Emperor that practiced Stoicism.

After reading these sentences, I wondered, How many of us can be happy or calm without other people?  How many of us really know what makes us happy on our own?

I began to think about what makes me happy.  Golf came to mind.  I will go on my own to a course that is close to the house looking for that cheerfulness and calm feeling sometimes.  But then I thought about how it really goes, I tee off on the first hole, and the happiness and calm feeling I expected to have goes out the window.  More often than I would like, the ball doesn’t exactly end up where I would want it to.

Then I thought about weightlifting.  Weightlifting is a place I can genuinely feel happy without other people.  Breaking personal records sends chills and excitement through my body.  That feeling will last for hours and even a few days and then I pursue more records.

At some point breaking weightlifting records will end.  Possibly in the near future for me.  Then I will be forced to think about what other types of things I can do on my own to be cheerful.  Reading, writing, sharing thoughts come to mind.  Growing as a human being.

I challenge you to think about the things that you do on your own that bring cheerfulness and serenity in to your life.  Take 5-10 minutes to brainstorm and see what you come up with.

 

 

 

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