“All you need are these: certainty of judgment in the present moment; action for the common good in the present moment; and an attitude of gratitude in the present moment for anything that comes your way.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 9.6
All of stoicism, from Marcus Aurelius to Seneca to Epictetus to all the other famous proponents of stoicism, can be condensed into three words: perception, action, and will. I feel, in its essence, stoicism is all about focussing on what we can control and forgetting about what we can’t control. And when we break it down to its fundamentals, much like the 1st principles of physics, all we can control is our perception of our circumstances, the action we take to tackle these circumstances, and the will to do so. And maybe if we simply focus on these three things, we can build a better life for ourselves which is more peaceful and more deliberate. Even if we are too busy to remember every stoic strategy, just remembering these 3 fundamental truths of stoicism will do us good. And the world will be better for it.
This article is a part of my Stoic Musings challenge, inspired by the book “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, where I take a quote from the book and reflect on it, every day.