Last night I was having a group discussion that focused on how hard it can be to make the most of our time and to do what we know we ought to do. I added to the conversations quotes from Marcus Aruelius and Colin Wright focusing on how we think about things in our daily lives, and how we decide what actions and decisions to make. Aurelius wrote, “It is not right to vex ourselves at things, for they care nought about it” and Wright included in his book Act Accordingly, “Far more than just a phrase, acting accordingly is a framework for decision-making that places importance where it belongs…” These quotes combined with an idea of self-awareness which I shared with the group to help highlight the power of our own mind and thoughts in relation to objects and actions in our lives. The quote from Aurelius’ Meditations that I have for today would have been a useful addition to the quotes above in last nights discussion, “Attend to the matter which is before thee, whether it is an opinion or an act or a word. Thou suffers this justly: for though choosest rather to become good to-morrow than to be good to-day.”
What the original conversation focused on is the challenges we face as we make the right decisions in the day. It can be easy to settle into a routine that is relaxing and comfortable. When autopilot takes over we reduce our thought process and fail to tap into intentionally use the time that we have. This takes away our responsibility for our actions and may reduce our stress, but it prevents us from improving ourselves and striving to become something greater. The quote from Aurelius that could have been added to last night’s conversation focuses on the improvement we can experience when we become present in our actions and focus on what we are currently doing. If we shift our focus and think about growing today and improving ourselves now, we will be better off not just in the future, but in our present moment.
The key to taking action in the current moment is to build a practice of self-awareness, reflection, and presence. Recognizing where we are and being able to consider the actions available to us can help us be more productive.