The Daily Stoic for May 14th. “Our well-being lies in our actions”.
“Those obsessed with glory attach their well-being to the regard of others, those who love pleasure tie it to feelings, but the one with true understanding seeks it only in their own actions. . . . Think on the character of the people one wishes to please, the possessions one means to gain, and the tactics one employs to such ends. How quickly time erases such things, and how many will yet be wiped away.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 6:51, 59
Some days ago, I talked about how, even as a commercial failure, my minimalist piano project touched a lot of people, and I received lots of heartening messages. Each message, to be honest, brought a little joy into my life.
However, they were not the main reason why I composed music.
The fact is that I loved making music, and listening to it. One day, at the co-working center, someone asked me what I was listening to through my headphones. I said “well, it’s actually one of my albums”, a little embarrassed.
I don’t know if the guy thought that I was an arrogant jerk. Probably he did :).
However, the truth is that I loved composing music. Not just that. For me, it was like breathing. Something I just needed to do. Like a walk in the park after a stressful day at the office. It was a stress relief activity for me… Carefully stroking some notes and hearing the vibrant, pure overtones… It was my way of forgetting my cubicle for some time.
Hence, I love listening to my own music. It makes me secretly proud also.
Our Well-Being Lies In Our Actions
And I think that’s the point in today’s stoic. Not relying on others to value or approve what you do. We need to be proud of our actions and enjoy what we do. Not for the expected outcome, but for the process itself.
That way, it doesn’t really matter how others evaluate our actions, our work, what we do, say or think. All that matter is what we think about that. Not only that, but how we appreciate not just what we are creating, but the creative process itself.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Our Well-Being Lies In Our Actions”, discusses how we should not care about the opinions of others when measuring our actions. Instead, we should take pleasure from them, not just from their outcome, but the whole process.