The good life. A whisper, wives-tale, unreachable, too reachable, promise. Something you learn about growing up. The good life. Something you are meant to achieve. A balance of personal sacrifice, freedom and happiness. All of us are suppose to be working towards it yet so few admit to ever arriving. 

I regret that I do not yet have the key to the good life for you. Those answers I have yet to find for myself, but I do believe a few things to be true for anyone hoping for more happiness.

Have good thoughts.

“the soul is dyed the colour of its thoughts” ~ Heraclitus

Good is such a subjective word, but that is why it works so perfectly for the idea of a “good” life and the practice of having “good” thoughts. Have good thoughts. More of the thoughts that make you happy and fewer that do not. Easier said than done. For me, it started with 5 mins, each day, for a week. 5 mins of positivity, reflection and gratitude. If I was feeling like shit that day, maybe it was 5 mins of thinking about how or why I felt that way and how to avoid it in the future. Have good thoughts, dye your soul a whole new colour.

Make gratitude a habit.

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…” ~ Marcus Aurelius

The more I read, think and learn about what it is that will make me happy and fulfilled, the more I realize that it comes down to habits. I came across an idea recently I absolutely LOVE that I think describes it perfectly: The journey is the way. We are all products of our habits and to live a more fulfilled life, habits must not be overlooked. 

“Get to iconic levels not by your to do list, but by your NOT to do list.” Robin Sharma, from a talk at the Archangel Summit 2016.

If you can do ONE THING TODAY to improve your day and inject some instant gratitude into your life, it is to read the following quotes which I shall leave you with today:

When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…

and

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

 


When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

Both quotes are from Marcus Aurelius in his work, Meditations. I read or reference this book monthly. I highly recommend it as a starting point or point of continuation for learning more about stoicism, the good life and philosophy. Get it from Amazon here.

One thought on “on the good life

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