Why should you spend the four hours needed to read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and not watch this week’s football game? Well, if you follow the principles emphasized in this classic then you’ll value moments of self-evaluation and the present moment over all else; especially a present with Aurelius in it.

Meditations stands atop the list of motivated reads as one of the first and most popularly agreed works in the personal development field, why is that the case? Aurelius, the roman leader, never intended for this to be a book, he never wrote a draft or kept the edits, and yet still the ideas throughout showed enough prowess to carry on the book on their own.

If you do decide to pick this up and give it a go then the first concept you would run into would be emulation. Aurelius was an advocate of copying the actions of others, or as was in his case, the actions of influential family members and leaders. Each person seemed to be the epitome of that particular characteristic. A perfect demonstration of “how to be a good man, how to respect others, how to live life fully…”

But, even still emulation doesn’t capture Aurelius’s intent for the words he recorded every day. Instead, that was left up to the iconic phrase, “Live each day as if it were your last”. Nowadays, that phrase is about as cliche as the ‘grass is always greener’ (which he also references and refutes), and yet when said and argued from his perspective demonstrates the value unlike any other.

Our present moment lives to be a testament to our values, purpose, and intent and Aurelius wanted to stress the fact that this moment matters. Now matters 100 fold what tomorrow holds or what happened yesterday. The most substantial truth here was creating an impervious motivation to live your life ‘correctly’.

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