Bitterness is rooter in the past.
Fear and anxiety are rooted in the future.
This is today’s struggle. Most people are living in either side of the spectrum, in bitterness of what we experienced or in the fear of what could happen. Time, if approached inaccurately, can rob us of itself.
No wonder productivity books are so trendy these days, everyone wants to figure out a way to do more and be more, as if by doing so, our lives will have more meaning.
What if you can be 100% focused on the tasks at hand? What if the work you’re trying to finish is the only thing that you’ll ever do? What if it was the last thing you’ll ever do?
This sense of urgency is key to keep yourself rooted in the present, the reality that you only have this present moment to live and do things, the past is never coming back and the future does not even exist.
To meditate on
“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 fro 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 if possible to live an abundant and devout life.” - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 2.5
“Were you to live three thousand years, or even a countless multiple of that, keep in mind that no one ever loses a life other than the one they are living, and no one ever lives a life other than the one they are losing. The longest and the shortest life, then, amount to the same, for the present moment lasts the same for all and is all anyone possesses. No one can lose either the past of the future, for how ca someone be deprived of what’s not theirs” - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 2.14
“Don’t let you reflection on the whole sweep of life crush you. Don’t fill your mind with all the bad things that might still happen. Stay focused on the present situation and ask yourself why it’s so unbearable and can’t be survived.” - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.36
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” - Matthew 6:34
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.“ - 2 Corinthians 4:16
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” - 2 Timothy 1:7
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.“ - Ephesians 5:15-16
“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” - James 4:14