Marcus Aurelius on How to Act and Four Habits of Thought to Eliminate

Some advice from Marcus Aurelius in Meditations:

Never under compulsion, out of selfishness, without
forethought, with misgivings.

Don’t gussy up your thoughts.

No surplus words or unnecessary actions.

Let the spirit in you represent a man, an adult, a citizen, a
Roman, a ruler. Taking up his post like a soldier and
patiently awaiting his recall from life. Needing no oath or

Cheerfulness. Without requiring other people’s help. Or
serenity supplied by others.

To stand up straight-not straightened.

Later he adds this bit of timeless wisdom:

Never regard something as doing you good if it makes you betray a trust, or lose your sense of shame, or makes you show hatred, suspicion, ill will, or hypocrisy, or a desire for things best done behind closed doors.

Four habits of thought to eliminate.

Four habits of thought to watch for, and erase from your mind when you catch them. Tell yourself:

* This thought is unnecessary.
* This one is destructive to the people around you.
* This wouldn’t be what you really think (to say what you don’t think—the definition of absurdity.)

And the fourth reason for self-reproach: that the more divine part of you has been beaten and subdued by the degraded mortal part—the body and its stupid self-indulgence.

The best way to read Meditations is not necessarily from start to finish. Another idea, is pair it with Montaigne’s How to Live and read random pages from one every few days.