#198 Visions of a Lifetime

Marcus Aurelius on the Present Moment

Marcus Aurelius once wrote to himself, “Never confuse yourself with visions of an entire lifetime at once.”

As a guy who often wants to have it all perfectly figured out right now and forever, I remember being awe struck by that line when I first read it.

“Never confuse yourself with visions of an entire lifetime at once.”

Do *you* ever do that?

Do you ever feel like you need to see every single step in a process right from the beginning?

That’s kinda like thinking you should be able to see the finish line at the start of your race.

Or thinking you should be able to see that turn you’re going to take in 289 miles when you’re driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

That makes no sense.

We want to have a basic idea of where we’re headed and then focus on the next step.

Then, when we’re turned around or feeing a little lost, we bust out the high-level map and, most importantly, the inner compass that points to who we aspire to be.

We need to remind ourselves of our deepest virtues and values we’re most committed to embodying. We need to ask what the most Heroic version of ourselves would do in this moment.

And then we take that next step. Right now.

Here’s how our dear friend, the emperor-philosopher puts it: “Never confuse yourself by visions of an entire lifetime at once… remember that it is not the weight of the future or the past that is pressing upon you, but ever that of the present alone.”

Here’s to showing up and enjoying the present moment a little more today.

+1. +1. +1.

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