“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions.” -Marcus Aurelius
Written by Marcus Aurelius thousands of years ago, this quote has defined what it means to live a happier life. Instead of pondering our behaviors, living with a positive mindset allows many people around the globe to strive for greatness.
Each day you are alive, thousands of thoughts rush through your subconscious.
Every time you are anxious, your brain embodies the thoughts of an apprehensive person.
Every time you are happy, your brain embodies the thoughts of a happy person.
Every time you are depressed, the worries and distress compound into a concoction of negativity.
When you spend time thinking pessimistically, you are taking away time from living a happier life. In the words of Napoleon Hill, “all you ever are or shall become is the result of the use to which you put your mind.”
One of the most liberating ways to live a happier life is to focus your thoughts on positivity, optimism, and ways to feel fulfilled.
The following quote embodies the philosophy of living life, without complaint, and only focusing your mind on events which can be controlled:
“No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don’t have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have.” — Seneca
In other words, focusing on being grateful for the present will allow you to find happiness.
Identify The Essential. Eliminate The Rest
Throughout the world, many of us are brought up in a consumerist culture; we want the latest fashion, technology, and brands to display as a form of social status.
Due to a consistent lust for more items, we are never happy with what we currently have.
Think about it.
If your friends have the latest iPhone, you become jealous and (probably) spend thousands of dollars on an upgrade.
Likewise, if you see a colleague on vacation while scrolling through Instagram, you wish you could be there. But instead of being on a tropical island, you’re stuck in an office cubicle counting down the hours until you can go home.
This societal driven behavior has often made us jealous & resentful of others. But instead of focusing on what you can’t have, focus on what you can.
Let’s put your life in perspective for a moment:
If you earn above $10,000 per year, you are in the top 16% of people in the world by income.
If you earn above $25,000 per year, you are in the top 2% of people in the world by income.
Finally, if you earn above $32,000, you are in the top 1% of people in the world by income.
Let that sink in.
Greatness Comes From Within
David Goggins, a Retired Navy seal, said that “the only way to achieve greatness in life is to have patience, consistency, and discipline.”
You cannot achieve great relationships without being patient, and putting in the work to nurture them. To improve your life, cultivating the discipline to remain consistent is paramount to success.
If you genuinely want to become a better person and live a more fulfilling life, you need to show up & put in the work — even when you don’t feel like it.
“What matters most is not what our obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure.” — Ryan Holiday
You cannot hide from adversity. However, if you treat these barriers as an opportunity to learn, it will become much more comfortable to overcome any obstacles you face in the future.
Quoting Marcus Aurelius:
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
Your perspective of life is an interpretation of the world around you. Who you are is simply the result of your previous thoughts & actions leading up to this very moment.
Your future is founded upon how you interpret the world from this second until the day you die. Who you shall be tomorrow is merely a consequence of the decisions you shall make today.
How To Start
If you want to be happy tomorrow, are your actions right now speaking to those that would please your future-self?
If you want to be productive tomorrow, are you planning your day strategically, and eating the right foods to give yourself the necessary mental energy to work hard?
Eckhart Tolle famously stated:
“Your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness.”
You can change your mindset, upgrade your thinking, and improve your levels of self-confidence. However, that will only happen once you take the first step to become self-aware about your ambitions in life, and how to achieve them.
To repeat the words of Marcus Aurelius once more:
“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions.”
How will you become a better person tomorrow? That depends on your thoughts & actions today.