My young friend Nick is impressive. He’s a full-time student who works as a Resident Assistant and as a personal trainer, and he’s a serious student of life wisdom. He shares my fascination with Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and he came to me early in the summer and told me he was researching Marcus with plans to write something somewhat audacious about Meditations.
He just posted the result of his recent Stoic studies, a great essay that takes the key points from Meditations and culls out what he considers the most significant themes. He’s calling it a sort of “Stoic creed”.
Nick has a nice insight about “grooving the pattern”, impressing thoughts and habits in a way that sticks in your life:
To “groove the pattern” its been helpful to keep small axioms and maxims around. I decorate the inside of my weekly planners and the walls around my workspace with words and lists that resonate with me so that I can give them a glance occasionally in idle time.
He then goes on to share the seventeen precepts of Stoic conduct as drawn from his readings of Meditations. It’s a thoughtful collection of reminders and guiding principles well worth anyone’s time to consider and imprint in your memory for when you need to know how to respond to life’s challenges.
Go read Nick’s post and consider collecting your own personal scripture, your own creed, to guide your thoughts and actions.
Just as doctors always keep their implements and scalpels ready at hand in case of emergency treatment, so should you have your guiding principles ready in order to understand things human and divine… –Meditations 3.13