The Daily Stoic for May 18th. “How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything”
“Pay attention to what’s in front of you—the principle, the task, or what’s being portrayed.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.22
One of the main teachings of meditation is being present. It’s an art. And something that needs some time getting used to. Well, especially for me at least.
I’m the kind of guy whose mind is always spinning with hundreds of thoughts. It’s just who I am, I have learned to accept it. I’m constantly worried about the future, thinking about the job that’s still undone, about the next bill to pay… That’s me.
Luckily, meditation has helped me a lot. It has taught me how to stop and be present for a moment. When my mind is racing against its own thoughts, I can always find a quiet place and hopefully enjoy a moment of inner peace.
How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything
Another thing meditation has shown me is that we repeat patterns. Even in different moments of our life, while we are angry, happy, or sad, we tend to do every small thing in the same way, if you look at the bigger picture. That’s why I think it’s true that the way you handle this minute is the way you handle every minute. The situations may differ, but our reactions are the same.
That’s good news because by changing every small minute, we can change the whole ocean of our time. It just takes time and effort. But we are able to change our lives just by making small changes and repeating them.
So next time you, for example, find yourself working on a job you hate, apathetically doing a task, consider why you are doing it at all. If it’s something you really don’t enjoy and happens regularly, maybe it’s time for a change. We can’t do things we love every single minute of our lives, but I think we should try to enjoy every little thing we do. Because every one of your days is made of small minutes.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything”, discusses how the whole picture of our life is composed of the sum of small moments. The way we do every little task, how we handle every minute, is how we approach our life, job, friends… and how we use our time.