If you seek tranquility, do less

We’ve all struggled to separate the wheat from the chaff, the essential from the non-essential, and the important from the urgent. And it takes a lot of time and skill to get to this place where you know exactly what you will focus on. So much so that it takes an average person half their lives to understand this key concept.

Marcus Aurelius said, “if you seek tranquility, do less.” And he goes further to clarify that not everything that we have to do is essential. So, we do our best to eliminate what isn’t essential to create more time and space to do what’s absolutely essential. (Like the repetition of “essential” is essential to drive the point home.) You do this often and it become a habit.

Would that mean we wouldn’t have stuff that we don’t have to do or problems that we don’t want to stay stuck with? Heck, no! Marcus had a myriad of challenges to deal with but he had to accept them to become one of most powerful and influential leaders of all time.

Marcus Aurelius (The Daily Stoic)

Also, what’s life without its set of problems, challenges, and screw-ups? The key isn’t to ignore them, you can’t, but to accept them as a obstacles to be navigated. Perhaps, you’ll realize that some of the challenges you face aren’t even worth your time and attention. Why even bother? So, you go right past them and focus on what you need to be dealing with.

That’s how you achieve tranquility, my friend. By doing what’s absolutely essential but most importantly accepting life’s obstacles as they are.

By Sunil Nair

Nurturing leaders of tomorrow.

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