Be like the headland, on which the waves break constantly, which still stands firm, while the foaming waters are put to rest around it. ‘It is my bad luck that this has happened to me.’ On the contrary, say, ‘It is my good luck that, although this has happened to me, I can bear it without getting upset, neither crushed by the present nor afraid of the future.’ This kind of event could have happened to anyone, but not everyone would have borne it without getting upset.
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.49
Take time to listen to the Premeditation of Adversity recording and rehearse facing some events that feel emotionally challenging or difficult.
Alternatively, search premeditatio malorum and learn how to regularly practice it.
Glad and cheerful, let us say, as we go to our rest: ‘I have finished living; I have run the course that fortune set for me’. If God gives us another day, let us receive it with joy. The happiest person, who owns himself more fully, is the one who waits for the next day without anxiety. Anyone who can say, ‘I have had my life’ rises with a bonus, receiving one more day.
– Seneca, Letters, 12.9.
Reflect on what it means to be grateful for each day as if it were your last and to make the most of the opportunities life presents you with.
I have not read all the works of Seneca yet. The above quote is the first time I have read it. The part that really stands out to me is "the happiest person ... is the one who waits for the next day without anxiety." There was a time, when Sunday night came with excessive dread. I had to start another week at work! Another week of commuting, meetings, email and dealing with problems. But I have realized, quite recently, that I no longer have that dread. I love each moment. I have experienced contentedness on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. There is nothing to fear or have anxiety about those days. I can be happy now. This is life. Through repeated efforts and reflection, I now know I can find rays of sunshine no matter the place, time or circumstance.
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