A Morning Ritual
The Daily Stoic for today, 21st of January, suggests us to have a morning ritual where we would ask ourselves a series of questions:
“What am I lacking in attaining freedom from passion?
And what for tranquility?
What am I? A mere body, estate-holder, or reputation? None of these things.
What, then? A rational being.
What then is demanded of me? Meditate on your actions.
How did I steer away from serenity?
What did I do that was unfriendly, unsocial, or uncaring?
What did I fail to do in all these things?”
—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 4.6.34–35
Curiously enough, I think that is a good way of bringing closure to what we did yesterday. Hence, it would be the perfect complement to help us forgive the past as I discussed on yesterday’s stoic: reignite your thoughts.
Actually, the text suggests that many successful people have a morning ritual, like meditation or journaling.
Who Has Time For A Morning Ritual?
I used to meditate first thing in the mornings, right before going to the gym. While it helped me start my day with a clearer mind, I stopped doing it.
Because I had the feeling that I was wasting the morning, and I needed to start my day earlier.
I am not doing the daily stoic meditation alone. Me and a friend have an email group where we discuss our daily journey into stoicism. While narrating how he used to write two pages every morning, I started to think about time.
I won’t be able to sit every morning today and write two pages… I mean, I write a daily stoic, and a regular post at least weekly. My morning ritual involves waking up around 7, going to the gym, having a good breakfast and opening my laptop.
I have talked about how before becoming a digital nomad, time seemed to go faster. Even though now that trend has reverted, I still struggle with time. I never have the feeling of being bored, if you know what I mean.
Of course, unless you are a millionaire, you need to work or spend time on your business. However, when you are an entrepreneur, it’s easy to loose the perspective of when is enough, and when you should stop and enjoy some quality time doing… nothing at all. Even if deep work has helped me work without distractions and focus on my projects, it still leaves room for abuse.
Thus, my next commitment will be doing a best schedule of my time, and leaving room for morning rituals. Start meditating again every morning. Finding some time every evening to enjoy a book at the sofa… and getting to know when I should close my laptop, like I’m about to do now.
Today’s Daily Stoic suggested us to commit to a morning ritual, as a way of closure of what we did the day before, and meditate on what could we do better today or tomorrow. I like that idea, and certainly complements yesterday’s meditation.
However, while reading about how people have morning rituals like meditating or writing a few pages, I realized that my next big battle is against time. Concretely, about the perception that I never have time.
If there’s something I have learned from stoicism, is that I cannot decide how much free time I have yet, but I can change my perception of how I spend it.