Action by Action: Wisdom for the Tides of Change

". . .Keep at it, until it's fully digested. As a strong stomach digests whatever it eats. As a blazing fire takes whatever you throw on it, and makes light and flame." —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

I had the delightful experience of reading Marcus Aurelius' Meditations this past weekend, sparked by seeing his classic text heralded by many friends, bloggers, and authors. I absolutely loved it. Truly timeless wisdom that is as relevant today as when it was written (except for the few comments about observing severed body parts - yikes!). 

Today I bring you a few of my favorite excerpts . . . as well as a podcast on getting unstuck, and an upcoming NYC event that I'm speaking at. Enjoy!

Marcus Aurelius on Harmony, Integrity, Action and Mindset

On doing your best without worrying what others think:

"Don't waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people—unless it affects the common good. It will keep you from doing anything useful. You'll be too preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and what they're saying, and what they're thinking, and what they're up to, and all the other things that throw you off and keep you from focusing on your own mind.

. . . He does only what is his to do, and considers constantly what the world has in store for him—doing his best, and trusting that all is for the best. For we carry our fate with us—and it carries us."

"Choose not to be harmed—and you won't feel harmed. Don't feel harmed—and you haven't been."

"It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own. If a god appeared to us—or a wise human being, even—and prohibited us from concealing our thoughts or imagining anything without immediately shouting it out, we wouldn't make it through a single day. That's how much we value other people's opinions—instead of our own."

On making the most out of life, and living in harmony with the gods:

"Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what's left and live it properly."

"To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony."

On pushing through challenge and change:

"Dig deep; the water—goodness—is down there. And as long as you keep digging, it will keep bubbling up."

"Frightened of change? But what can exist without it? What's closer to nature's heart? Can you take a hot bath and leave the firewood as it was?"

"You have to assemble your life yourself—action by action. And be satisfied if each one achieves its goal, as far as it can. No one can keep that from happening.

. . . If you accept the obstacle and work with what you're given, an alternative will present itself—another piece of what you're trying to assemble. Action by Action."

The Obstacle is the Way

Ryan Holiday also put out a great Slideshare book of 20 Stoic-inspired quotes for his recently launched book, The Obstacle is the Way (the title of which references the following Aurelius quote):

Unstuckable Podcast: On Listening to Fear and Intuition

I had the pleasure of talking about many of these topics during a recent Unstuckable podcast with Stephen Warley (co-hosted by Chris Wilson) — click here to take a listen, or press play on the embedded clip below:

In this 30-minute conversation we cover:

  • Why I'm temped to ignore the whisper in my gut that tells me it’s time to change
  • To get unstuck, I follow threads of intuition and match them with action
  • How mediation has helped me surface and process feelings that have been bothering me (sign-up for the Lucent Pilot here — in the iTunes store awaiting approval as we speak!)
  • Why "shoulds" are often a dead-end
  • What we perceive as our biggest weaknesses are part of our strengths-in-hiding
  • Action: look for the smallest change you can make in your life with the biggest impact.
  • Read the full list of talking points and takeaways at

Upcoming NYC Event: Speaking at Emerging Women on May 22

Power Party NYC - 5/22

Save the date! Join me on Thursday, May 22nd for the Emerging Women PowerPartyNYC — I'm honored to be one of the event's keynote speakers. The Emerging Women Power Parties are "authentic networking events that aim to help women harness the power of the feminine, rock the business world, and create a new paradigm for success." If you can't make it in person, you can also sign-up to attend virtual via livestream. 

I will look forward to seeing some of you there!