The Daily Stoic for August 8th, “Start With Where The World Is”.
“Do now what nature demands of you. Get right to it if that’s in your power. Don’t look around to see if people will know about it. Don’t await the perfection of Plato’s Republic, but be satisfied with even the smallest step forward and regard the outcome as a small thing.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 9.29.(4)
Yesterday, I had a nightmarish day. Curiously enough, the stoic for the previous day was “There Is Always More Room To Maneuver Than You Think“.
Start With Where The World Is
There’s this record by this Icelandic band that I love, “Mum”. It’s called “Yesterday was dramatic, today is OK”. In a way, the stoic meditation was completely right. Things turned out to be less dramatic than I expected. And I think it’s important to start where the world is when thinking on any given situation.
Not on where it could be in the worst scenario, neither where you would like it to be in the best possible one.
Being a pessimist by nature, I always project myself in the former. And that’s so wrong. It’s also wrong waiting for everything to be perfect. You will always find difficulties.
What I have learned these days is that I tend to worry before even things have had the chance of happening. And instead, I should focus on the present, in what I can do now, and take small steps in the right direction. Usually, things are not that dramatic, neither that ideal as we imagine them.
So let’s start where the world is and look at the future with bright, but pragmatic eyes.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Start With Where The World Is” is a great stoic teaching. Sometimes we picture an image of the world that has nothing to do with the reality. Instead, it’s better to be realistic, avoid idealism and drama, and focus on making things better, step by step.