“At every moment, keep a sturdy mind on the task at hand, as a Roman and human being, doing it with strict and simple dignity, affection, freedom, and justice, giving yourself a break from all other considerations. You can do this if you approach each task as if it is your last, giving up every distraction, emotional subversion of reason, and all drama, vanity, and complaint over your fair share. You can see how mastery over a few things makes living an abundant and devout life possible.
Isn’t it amazing that the ability to focus was as challenging and impactful over 2,000 years ago as it is today? I can’t imagine what Marcus would think of our fragmented world with all the distractions and demands on attention.
There is so much insight in this quote. One could spend a lifetime trying to unpack and apply the wisdom found in these eighty-nine words. Ultimately less is more. Giving up the things that don’t matter for the few things that do and persist over time is how one builds a legacy that matters, not for oneself but others.
What are the few things you can focus on mastering?