Ancient Wisdom Reveals 6 Rituals That Will Make You Happy
Eric Barker stashed this in Diabolical Plans For World Domination
I don't think the unexamined life is marketable. :)
i like that cartoon a lot
I do too. Anything when combined with an MBA is marketable.
Here’s how ancient wisdom from the Stoics can help you be happier:
- Events Don’t Upset You. Beliefs Do: Only the end of the world is the end of the world.
- Control What You Can. Ignore The Rest: Worrying never fixed anything.
- Accept Everything. But Don’t Be Passive: Nobody recommends denial. Accept. And then do something.
- Choose Whose Child You Will Be: “What would Batman do in this situation?”
- Morning And Evening Rituals Are Essential: Plan for the day, then reflect on the day.
Marcus Aurelius’ classic book “Meditations” starts out kinda weird. He mentions all the people who he feels indebted to for having helped him. It’s basically a gratitude list.
The Stoics were big on gratitude. In fact, in Meditations he wrote:
Don’t set your mind on things you don’t possess as if they were yours, but count the blessings you actually possess and think how much you would desire them if they weren’t already yours.
A few thousand years later research would catch up with him on that one. Studies show mentally subtracting cherished moments from your life makes you appreciate them more, makes you grateful and makes you happier.
“What if I never met my partner? What if my child was never born? Wow, I am so lucky to have them in my life.”
You don’t need that shiny new thing in order to smile. Take a second to appreciate all the shiny things you already have that aren’t so new.
Morning And Evening Rituals Are Essential
Plenty of research shows that rituals can really improve your life. What type did the Stoics recommend?
The Stoics thought you should start the day with a ritual of reminding yourself of what you’re going to face. Marcus Aurelius said, “Today, the people that you face will be…” and then he proceeds to list basically every negative trait you could possibly encounter in the course of a day. That’s not pessimistic, he’s saying, “Now that you know this, don’t take any of it personally and try to understand why people might act this way and forgive and love them for that.” The Stoics believe you start the day with a meditation of what’s to come and then you should end the day reflecting on what has transpired and what can be improved.
The Stoics didn’t believe in perfection. They felt we were all a work-in-progress. You can always be getting better. As Seneca said:
As long as you live, keep learning how to live.
(To learn the morning ritual that will keep you happy all day, click here.)