The Best Week, Every Week!
Monday: Rise & Shine ~ Who likes Mondays? It always seems more comfy just to hit the snooze button and close your eyes again for a few more minutes. But you can’t, because you have to get up.
From the time you are first sent off to school until the day you retire 500-salaries later, you’re faced with that same 1st-weekday-blues.
Lying-in means you're of no service to yourselves, to those who rely on you, or to the world at large so you yawn as you stagger to the shower switching on the kettle as you pass by.
"On those mornings you struggle with getting up, keep this thought in mind - I am awakening to the work of a human being.” Marcus Aurelius
Tuesday: Prepare Yourself For Daft Stuff ~ As dependable as the tides there will be someone you'll meet who will be in a foul mood. The question is: will you let their gremlins influence you?
This doesn't mean writing-off everyone you meet who may be having an off-day. It means preparing yourself emotionally for the daft stuff that may wash across your path so you aren't caught off-guard and will respond with kindness, patience, forgiveness and, dare I say, understanding.
“… none can do me harm or implicate me in ugliness - nor can I be angry at my relatives or hate them. For we are made for cooperation.” Marcus Aurelius
Wednesday: Clarify Your Intentions ~ The 2nd habit in Stephen R. Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ is: Begin With The End In Mind meaning starting each day, task or project with a clear vision of your desired outcome (which could be a feeling), then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.
Having an end in mind does not guarantee you’ll reach it, but not having one is a guarantee that you won’t. Never allow yourself to be driven into failure by the void of nothingness.
“Let all your efforts be directed to something, let it keep that end in view. It’s not activity that disturbs people, but false conceptions of things that drive them mad.” Seneca
Thursday: Be Ruthless With The Things That Just Don’t Matter ~ Do you ever wonder how you can recover lost time? The answer is not to lose it in the first place.
Start today by utilizing the power of saying “No, thank you,” and “Not just now.” It may antagonise. It may even put people off. But the more you learn to say no ~ politely and with a smile ~ to the things that don’t matter to you right now, the more you can say yes to the things that do.
“How many have laid waste to your life when you weren’t aware of what you were losing. How much was wasted in pointless grief, foolish joy, greedy desire, and social amusement. How little of your own was left to you. You will realize you are dying before your time!” Seneca
Friday: Turn ‘Gotta Do' Into ‘Wanna Do’ ~ Is everything clambering for your time; those things you have to do in the course of a day or a week?
Try this philosopher’s worldview. Rather than seeing the world imposing itself on you, see yourself as a beneficiary of the will of the world.
You're stuck in traffic! Take a few minutes to sit there and relax. The engine cuts out!? Ah, what a nice chance to take a walk. A cell-phone-wielding idiot nearly drives into you as you are walking! What a reminder of just how precarious life is. Isn't it silly to get upset about something as trivial as being late for a meeting or having trouble with your journey. Anyway, you have an incredible mobile device to communicate your situation, don't you? And, if you don't have a signal, think of the peace you'll enjoy when you can't be disturbed.
Jocking aside, it might not seem like there’s a big difference between seeing life as something you Gotta Do versus seeing life as something you Wanna Do, but there is a magnificent emotional benefit in that difference.
“We should bring our will into harmony with whatever happens, so that nothing happens against our will and nothing that we wish for fails to happen.” Epictetus
Saturday: Take A Walk ~ In most cities and large towns, it’s impossible to find much peace and quiet. The incessant noise of traffic, people shouting to make themselves heard and the hammering of road-works fill the streets with an auditory assault.
Throughout the ages philosophers, composers, writers and poets find walking offers the aura of time and space for improved thinking. Today, make a point of taking a walk. In future when you get stressed or overwhelmed, take another walk.
- When you have a tough decision to make, take a walk.
- When you want to be creative, take a walk.
- When you need to clear your head, take a walk.
- When you have a difficult phone call to make, take a walk.
- When you need some exercise, take a long walk.
- When you have a meeting or a friend over, take a walk together.
“We should take wandering outdoor walks, so that the mind might be nourished and refreshed by the open air and deep breathing.” Seneca
Sunday: A Week In Review ~ At the end of each day, and before the start of another week, ask yourself:
- What good habits have I adopted?
- Who impressed me the most?
- Were my actions towards others uplifting?
- Am I becoming a better me?
Keep a few notes and review what you did this day last week, last month, last year. Record what you think. Record how you feel. Describe how and what you could do better. It’s for this reason that Marcus Aurelius’ 'Meditations' is an inscrutable book. He wrote it for personal clarity, rather than for public benefit. Yet, we can learn, too.
Writing down things jump-starts your imagination. Keep your journal, digitally or written. Constantly reflect on what happens to you and how you respond. Be unflinching in your personal assessment.
“I will keep constant watch over myself and ... will put each day up for review. … plans for the future descend from the past.” Seneca
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Complicated IS Easy! Simple IS Hard!