Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. I took some notes, and the fact is, Emperor Marcus Aurelius has some great tips for business, spiritual balance, politics, and relationships. The result of this analysis is that I compiled a list of 33 success principles of the Emperor Aurelius.
Much like the principles of the Art of War by Sun Tzu or Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues of character development, these insights from the warrior-general are designed to help the reader reach his or her potential.
Here are the 33 Principles of Success from: Emperor Marcus Aurelius
- Look for the best in life. Book 10, Section 1
- Acting with confidence and poise. Book 3 Sec 5
- The Emperor stresses the importance to flow with the Universe and use its energy in your favor. Book 8 Sec 23
- Blame and resenting is a waste of vigor and time. Book 8 Sec 17
- Be and live your Purpose and Focus upon engaging your purpose. Book 9 Sec. 19 & Book 10, Sec. 16
- Stay in the Now and act in the Present . Book 8 Sec 44 The present is a gift. Book 8, Sec 44
- We are part of all and connected to all. Book 10, Sec 6.
- We must express ourselves naturally. Book 11, Sec 13
- Our greatest power is our choice and ability to control our thought - Choose not to be harmed and operate beyond the basic senses. Book 4 Sec. 7
- Inner Peace - Book 4 Sec. 3 - Go within to develop inner peace. Renew yourself, rest, meditate, and recharge.
- Right Effort - Book 3 Sec. 12 Do your job with diligence, energy, focus and patience.
- Care of Inner Condition- Book 2 Sec. 13 Be aware of the power within you and nurture it. This can include exercise, diet, rest, empowerment, and learning.
- One thing at a time - Book 6 Sec. 26 - Projects can be broken down to tasks and achieved one at a time finishing each part with excellence. 'The original project manager"
- Do the right thing - Strive for excellence. Our every task is to be done in an excellent way and shine like a jewel of great wealth. Book 7 Sec. 15.
- Nature renews and heals - Healing requires serenity and a focus on well being along with ignoring distracting thoughts. Book 9 Sec 31 and Book 7, Sec 25
- Focus and Action - Be contemplative in action. Book 8 Sec 5
- Stop Complaining Book 8 Sec 9 - No need to complain aloud or to yourself in mind.
- Gratitude and Attribution - The word attribute can mean to make A-Tribute, complement others good works, and find Acceptance and thankfulness outwardly. Book 8 Sec. 23
- Joy and memories are created. Book 8 Sec. 25 XXV.
- Right Perception - Striving for the right view while repressing ego mind and animal instincts Book 8 Sec. 29
- See past mere appearances. Try and go beyond what is apparent and see truth Book 12 Sec 18
- Focus on your purpose toward highest performance results while avoiding blame. Book 12
- Use what is available, maximize your talents, and take advantage of the things that are provided. Book 8 Sec 32 Accept what is at hand and make the best of what you have.
- Balance the Relationship Triangle - Maintain balance with body, spirit, mind, external forces, and universal forces.
- Expect the best. - The imagination can lean toward negativity, but a constructive imagination in the now is very powerful. Book 8, Sec 36.
- Remember that all is opinion. Book 2, Sec 15 - If...it be a thing external that causes thy grief, know, that it is not that properly that doth cause it, but your own conceit and opinion concerning the thing: which thou may rid thyself of, when thou wilt. Book 8, Sec 45
- Law of attraction - "Your soul takes the color of your thoughts" - Book 5 Sec 16
- Gratitude - Book 7 Sec. 27 - Look at what you have, the things you value most and think how much you would crave them if you did not have them anymore...
- Live your life as though today's actions will be remembered and you have one day left as a gift . Act and live without haste or sloth. Book 7 Sec 56 Live for Today and be of high character
- Change and impermanence are features of existence. Particularly that change is inevitable and that it should be embraced. Book 9 Sec. 32
- Continuous scholarship - Give thyself time to learn something new and good, and cease to be whirled around. Book 2, Section 7
- Dying of the old self and transformation are considered opportunity. Book 9, Sec. 3
- The Soul or inner Spirit exists as we know and feel it. "I am, therefore, "soul is". The soul or individual spirit is his proof of the supreme force. Book 12
Marcus Aurelius - Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (121-180 AD) was emperor of Rome from 161 AD till his death in 180 AD. He was notable among Roman emperors as he was a devotee to the study and practice of philosophy. History implies that Marcus also served as a priest to the Roman state religion.
The influence of the early Christian Church became widespread during his reign and the ethics of the last pagan ruler of Europe lives on today. The Emperors Stoic beliefs could be categorized as: Monist Pantheism or Naturalistic Pantheism. Consider that in his meditations, the Emperor references various venerable philosophers such as: Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Socrates, Archimedes, Plato, Socrates, Alexander, Caius, Pompey, and multitudes of other great teachers, prophets, warriors, and gurus.
As an example, Pythagoras 570 – d. about 495 BC of Greece and later Italy, may be the oldest known living guru/prophet of his time who has been proven to be a real and existing person in the 6th century B.C. Notice that included in these ancient virtues and spiritual principles are most if not all of the noble 8 fold path of Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha approx 563 BCE to 483 BCE. It should also be noted that Alexander the Great's campaigns and Vedic Ethics seem to have had a powerful cross pollinating influence in North Western India 327–325 BC while Buddhism was in its infancy.
As a reference, notice in the Meditations how many if not all of the concepts of the Noble Eight Fold Path are included. Because Alexander was a student of Aristotle who was taught by Socrates and Plato, the chain and ripple effect of knowledge, philosophy and ethics is widespread throughout Asia and upon Europe as well.
*Quotes, translations, and interpretations are the opinions and writings of the author. All rights reserved 2012 - G S. Mentz, JD, MBA, CWM . - Mentz is an international lawyer, award winning professor and noted author of success books and business excellence guides. www.gmentz.com
Reference: Meditations, translated by Gregory Hays. ISBN 0-679-64260-9.
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