Well, hey there Mentorship Questers welcome back! Today is Monday, July 19th and this is episode 401. We have a quote for you today from someone who’s very near and dear to our hearts though far away in time. The one and only stoic philosopher who lived as the Roman emperor from 161 to 180. Yes, 161 to 180 AD, Mr. Marcus Aurelius Antonius.
He tells us, “When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive- to think, to enjoy, to love.”
What beautiful advice coming from the father of Stoicism and stoic philosophy. For those of you who are long-time Questers with us, you know that Marcus Aurelius is one of my spirit animals or spirit guides if you will. In fact, I like to equate his spirit with all of the hawks of the world, which means anytime Kay or I see a hawk we are always saying there’s hawkus as in hawkus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius. So, as you can hear we really subscribe to the stoic teachings of Marcus Aurelius, and really when you look at his life, it was so full of strife in the Roman empire and hardships and pandemics and all kinds of crazy things. But he ruled from a place of observation, of introspection, of wanting to be a compromiser and someone who helped humanity strive for the greater good. When they found his journals, really anything that you read from Marcus Aurelius comes right out of his journals that he kept as musings for himself and his own self-motivation and talk, which I just love even more. So, when you hear a quote, you know this was a man who was just giving himself a pep talk and, and advice in his journals throughout his life, which makes a quote like this one that reminds us as people to think and enjoy and to love. That this was just somebody telling themselves to do that, which makes it so much more authentic.
Well, and as we’ve dug into Marcus Aurelius’ work over time, we’ve found that the stoic philosophy and stoicism really is OG character development. It’s the original personal growth and development. He talks a lot in actionable terms just like he does in this quote here, where he says, “When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive.” Now he’s very intentional about this in this first section saying when you arise in the morning. So, first thing in the morning when your eyes pop open boop, and you’re awake and you’re here in this world, the first thought on your mind being what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love, to be here in this moment. Having that attitude of gratitude to start your day is a catalyst for having a great day ahead.
When we’re talking about 1,800 years ago, there wasn’t neuroscience and scientific discovery to back up the impact and influence a practice like this in the morning can have. But here we are fast forward those almost a couple thousand years, and the science supports that truly anytime you can think of what a privilege it is to be alive and the beautiful tapestry of positive emotions and experiences available to us is a good thing. But when you particularly do it in the morning, it can set your day up for such a different perspective and such a different experience for yourself. What is amazing is that he was noticing this pattern back in the year 161 and here we are nearly 2000 years later with the science supporting the fact that yes, doing this first thing in the morning can truly set you up for success.
When your body and your brain are waking out of sleep you are coming from the lower delta and theta brain waves which are those that display when you are asleep and into a more conscious state of being where your brain waves are a little bit faster and you’re processing things more quickly. So, when you’re at this place where your brain is working slower and waking up out of the unconscious realm aka your dream state when you are asleep. When you’re in between that wake and sleep state you are very susceptible. That subconscious mind, that fertile soil in your mind is very susceptible and open for seed planting, and what do we know about that beautiful big brain-machine that dictates everything and runs behind the scenes is that when you plant the right seeds into it, it can really work to your benefit to help you grow flowers throughout your day. So, like Marcus Aurelius tells us, “When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive- to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Alright, that brings you to the quest today and of course, it is a Gratitude Quest- imagine that! This Monday morning, we want you to model Marcus Aurelius and start your day with five minutes of gratitude. Whether you think it, write it, or sing it we want you to take the time to ruminate over the privileges of simply being alive. Are you ready? Say it along with me now.
Kay & Shi: