Overcome Your Inner Coward

Joan of Arc, John Everett Millais, 1865

Joan of Arc, John Everett Millais, 1865

I was watching this video on Marcus Aurelius - Overcome Your Inner Coward while exercising.

I plan to read Meditations one day and this was a good intro to Stoicism and some of his enduring insights.

  1. look for solutions, not people to blame

    Blame no one. Set people straight if you can. If not just repair the damage. And suppose you can't do that either, then where does blaming people get you?

    • blaming others is counterproductive and just leads to arguments on who is at fault, rather than focusing on how to fix the issue
    • MLK framed racism as justice vs injustice rather than blaming all white people
  2. don't second guess, act with conviction

    Concentrate every minute on doing what's in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness. Free yourself from all other distractions. Stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you

    • once you've made your decision after careful thought, don't think, just do
    • overanalyzing leads to "paralysis by analysis", like the centipede who forgot how to walk
  3. find the beauty in your mistakes

    If anyone can refute me, show me I'm making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective, I'll gladly change. It's the truth I'm after, and the truth never harmed anyone

    • mistakes are inevitable, see them as lessons and opportunities to grow
    • art of Kintsugi, cracks repaired with beauty by filling with gold/silver
  4. humble yourself, pride = cowardice

    Remember, matter. How tiny your share of it. Time, how brief and fleeting your allotment of it. Fate, how small a role you play in it.

    • humility allows you to make mistakes without ego getting in the way of courage
    • Emperor's new clothes shows his pride which underlie cowardice
  5. do your best and trust that things will work out

    He does only what is his to do and considers constantly what the world has in store for him, doing his best and trusting that all is for the best. For we carry our fate with us and it carries us

    • lean into uncertainty, have faith that things will turn out as they should
    • Howard Schultz saving Starbucks by his belief that things will turn out good