“Your principles can’t be extinguished unless you snuff out the thoughts that feed them, for it’s continually in your power to reignite new ones. . . . It’s possible to start living again! See things anew as you once did — that is how to restart life!” MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS.
Have you had a bad couple of weeks? Have you been drifting away from the principles and beliefs that you hold dear? It’s perfectly fine. It happens to all of us.
In fact, it probably happened to Marcus — that may be why he scribbled this note to himself. Perhaps he’d been dealing with difficult senators or having difficulties with his troubled son. Perhaps in these scenarios he’d lost his temper, became depressed, or stopped checking in with himself. Who wouldn’t?
But the reminder here is that no matter what happens, no matter how disappointing our behavior has been in the past, the principles themselves remain unchanged. We can return and embrace them at any moment. What happened yesterday — what happened five minutes ago — is the past. We can reignite and restart whenever we like. Why not do it right now?
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