REWIRING YOUR BRAIN FOR SERENITY – THANKS TO A GREAT ROMAN EMPEROR
Free ebook – How the writings of a very wise 1800-year-old Roman Caesar will drastically change your life.
Marcus Aurelius is widely considered one of the greatest Roman Caesars of all time. He wrote a great deal of philosophy and was known as a moral man and fine thinker.
His classic book has inspired generations of people from all walks of life as well as great leaders… and is free for you to download.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Or listen to this Youtube audio version:
Marcus grew up as Roman elite… so at a young age, he was educated by some great philosophers such as Seneca and Epictetus with the intention of him taking a place in the Roman senate.
The philosophy he was taught and then wrote about is called stoicism.
Stoicism is not a religion, but a way of thinking to help you deal with the inevitable pitfalls and stress of everyday life.
Caesar Aurelius’ writings weren’t intended to be published as a book. This free ebook he wrote is called ‘Meditations’ because they were mantras he lived by… and lessons he learned from the stress of leading a colossal empire.
“Whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time… The twining strands of fate wove both of them together: your own existence and the things that happen to you.” – Marcus Aurelius.
Stoics believe in fate… and if you also believe in fate; this philosophy becomes very easy to adopt.
But you don’t need to believe in fate to appreciate and benefit from stoic teachings.
One of the cornerstones of Stoic philosophy is that we may not always have control over what’s going on around us, but we do have control over how we react to it.
This way of thinking has inspired generations of leaders and thinkers the virtues of tolerance and self-control.
This free ebook is the same book that guided and comforted Nelson Mandela while he was a politically imprisoned for 27 years as he fought for racial equality in South Africa.
After his release, he used his stoic beliefs to preach peace and forgiveness despite the terrible injustices of his oppressors.
Stoicism these days is a term for someone who remains calm under pressure and avoids emotional extremes – someone who rids themselves of negative emotion.
If you happen to be ‘hot-blooded’ or sometimes ‘fly off the handle’ easily due to the stress of modern day living – you might also want to read this article about how stress and anger is harming your heart (which is a great reason to download this inspirational book).
“Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us” – Epictetus.
- The actions and opinions of other people
- Our reputation
- Our wealth
- Our opinions
- Moral Judgments
This means that a stoic’s happiness is not dependent on things outside of their control…
Here’s a great quote from the philosopher Seneca:
“It is in no man’s power to have whatever he wants. But he has it in his power not to wish for what he hasn’t got – and cheerfully make the most of the things that do come his way”
The stoics used philosophy as a tool that can sculpt and shape our character into an impenetrable fortress – one capable of withstanding struggles and adversity with calmness and strength.
A famous stoic quote (Epictetus) “We suffer not from the events in our lives, but our judgments about them”… a quote that resonates with modern psychology, religions such as Christianity and Buddhism and the self-help movement.
This way of thinking focuses on changing the self-defeating attitudes people form about their life circumstances.
Let’s face it. Life is difficult… but all too often, television, movies and social media lead us to believe that everyone should be living a magical fairy tale life. And this belief system sets us up with high expectations.
Stoics believe that anger, misery and sadness arise when misplaced hope smashes into an unforeseen reality…
Anger and sadness only arise when something is considered ‘bad’ while being unexpected.
But you don’t get sad and angry when we get caught in an unexpected storm – even though it’s cold, wet and unpleasant. That’s because we have learned to expect storms.
That’s what the stoics want you to understand. You should learn to expect betrayal, misfortune, accidents, theft etc… So when it eventually happens, you can handle the stress better.
A wise and stoic person should aim to reach a state where nothing can suddenly disturb their piece of mind.
This doesn’t mean we should be pessimistic – it just means we should be realistic… and not let external circumstances affect our happiness.
Expectation management: this is a concept that should be taught in school. We should apply this with our own thinking – but also with dealing with others such as business, parenting, friendships etc…
“Comparison is the thief of joy”
Failure to meet expectations results in disappointment, anger and sadness.
- So next time you take a vacation, remind yourself that the weather might not be perfect.
- There is probably going to be a screaming baby sitting next to you on the flight (don’t get angry, take earplugs).
- Tell your boss your project will be ready on Friday when in reality; you should have it ready (four days before) on Monday.
- Remind your kids that Santa needs room in his present sack for other children too…
- When you’re going to be home late from work; tell your wife/husband that you’ll be home at 9pm when you’re expecting it to be closer to 8pm
With social media and television giving people false impressions of what their lives should be like, stoicism is a great tool to bring our life expectations back to reality…
If we can learn to rewire our brain to let-go of circumstances that are out of our control – only then will we be truly happy. These are the lessons that children need to learn in school. These are lessons young and old must learn in order to survive the hardships of today.
Download this incredibly inspirational book and let us know what you think of it.