If I could read only one book, I would read Marcus Aurelius Meditations
Meditations (Greek: Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν Medieval Greek transliteration, Ta eis heauton, literally “[that which is] to himself”) is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy.
Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Greek as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement.
It is unlikely that Marcus Aurelius ever intended the writings to be published and the work has no official title, so “Meditations” is one of several titles commonly assigned to the collection. These writings take the form of quotations varying in length from one sentence to long paragraphs.
My ongoing version of “Notes to Self”, A collection of personal AHA moments
Reading Marcus Aurelius’ notes makes me stand in awe with every thought he has written. This great man, the ultimate holder of power in the whole known world at the time, the Emperor of the Roman Empire, was keeping notes for himself so he could follow the teachings from his teachers, from his mentors and from life. Always humble, Marcus was not only writing about philosophy but he was also being the living example of his writings.
Even if I feel so small in front of this great man, I decided to do the same. I decided to write down my AHA moments in a modern version of Tα εἰς ἑαυτόν, writing to my self. Writing the biggest lessons I have gotten from my teachers, my mentors and from life itself. This is not an article I can write in one sitting and most probably will take years, but I hope you that are reading this now, will get something out of it, something that maybe took me years to understand. So here it goes, my version of Meditations…
November 15, 2016: When you don’t know the rules of the game, there’s only one way to win. MAKE YOUR OWN RULES
October 5, 2016: From my friend Ioannis “Treat praise like criticism: refuse to accept either. This kind of feedback, whether positive or negative, is largely IRRELEVANT to what you should be working toward.”
September 15, 2016: Out of the box. What does it mean to think ‘out of the box’? It means to think out of the limits provided by the frame of thinking we have in the moment we are thinking. But out of one box is another box in another box since every thinking comes in the frame it belongs to in the given moment.
August 23, 2016: Whatever you do, be the best at it. There’s no room for second place. Find what can be improved and improve it.
November 4, 2014: A man must become the power that pulls life forward with everything he’s got. He isn’t dragging life. He must always challenge his comfort zone. This is what keeps the world tamed to him. Or else the world will always challenge his being.
November 18, 2013: If a ship is being sank, make sure to have a saving boat ready. If you don’t you may swim, you may even be a good swimmer but you never know how far the next land is going to be. So be prepared to have a safety way to travel as far as needed to reach the next land. Same thing in life, if a situation seems to be going bad, make sure to have set up a ‘safety net’ that will have you safe until the situation is safe again because even you are capable of handling difficult situations, you cannot know how much will it last and how much will you be ‘consumed’ trying to handle the difficult situation.