Marcus has remained relevant for 1,800 years largely due to his writings collected as "Meditations," which President Bill Clinton has said is one of his favorite books.
He dealt with these hardships by turning to philosophy, specifically the Stoicism of the ancient Greeks and his contemporary Roman philosophers.
We went through Hays' translation and picked out some key points on one of the main themes of "Meditations," how to recover from massive setbacks. Your energy and time are both limited, so don't waste them on what inconsequential people are doing, thinking, and saying, when you could be focusing on your own issues. Your company collapses, your house burns down, you lose all your money a€” none of these are "bad" (or "good" for that matter), according to Marcus' philosophy.


Ryan Holiday's new book "The Obstacle Is the Way" is based off this Stoic fundamental, which says that we should use inevitable challenges as a chance to become a stronger person. Marcus writes that people try to retreat from their problems and responsibilities by going somewhere like the mountains or the beach, but that travel isn't necessary to recollect yourself. If someone's character flaw has caused one of your problems, do not exert energy trying to change that person's character. When you see things as what they really are, you're able to avoid succumbing to your emotions and accept what has happened. He advocates a kind of brief meditation, where you withdraw into yourself and quiet your mind.


The emperor was faced with constant fighting, the rebellion of his general Cassius, the deaths of his wife and close friend, and the realization that his son Commodus was destined to be a bad ruler.



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