Ancient Stoic philosophers believed that we don’t control the world around us. However, we fully control our actions, perceptions and how we respond to external events. This philosophy is more relevant than ever. 2021 will most likely continue to be part ‘two’ of 2020 – filled with uncertainty and anxieties. Understandably so.
The Roman Philosopher King, Marcus Aurelius once said some 2000 years ago, “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
This means, standing at a wall of opposition is intimidating, but it also creates motivation. Knowing the walls you have to climb can push you to find a way over it.
Below are five things that are in our control:
Take care of your psychological and emotional health: This forms part of your operating system, you need to keep them healthy to be effective, don’t be afraid to ask for help from medical experts. Ancient Stoics used journaling to keep them mentally and emotionally balanced.
Take responsibility for your life: Cultivate the responsibility to take charge of your own life. You want to be healthy, you want to exercise, you want to manage your finances better, you want to have a better relationship with your loved ones, etc – no one can do this for you but you. Start small.
Follow the accretion process: Accretion is defined as ‘growth by a gradual accumulation of additional layers.’ Decide what you want to do, take action brick by brick – it’s more like a snowball effect. Small actions every day are powerful when you combine them.
Reinvent yourself: Challenge your own biases, read and listen to things that you don’t normally agree with. Two possible outcomes can come from this. You might be proven wrong, or you can strengthen your point of view. Either way, you will learn and grow. Explore like a child, don’t be afraid to fail, go beyond your domain.
Focus and don’t forget to take breaks: Erik Kruger and John Sanei recently spoke about their words of the year in their podcast called ‘The Expansive’. What came out strongly was the simple and powerful idea of working hard, focusing on the things that matter as well as taking breaks to recharge.
In his recent eBook titled: Leadership Manual 2021, Erik Kruger says this year will be a year of psychological stamina and constructing yourself.