“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” - Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and Stoic.
If you're one of our regular readers, you know we like Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
This great Roman Emperor has many great quotes associated with him. Most of these quotes talk about stoicism, leadership, and deep self-reflection.
While we at The Dreamer's Alchemy know most people won't be taking on a role such as that of an emperor, learning from people that are powerful nonetheless can teach us more about self-development.
Marcus Aurelius once wrote to himself in one of the most famous quotes from his private journal Meditations: "Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.”
Easier said than done, right?
This short yet powerful quote illustrates the simplicity of self-development.
Aurelius told himself (his journal was found after his death, and he never planned on it being published) that to develop oneself to their ideal archetype of a good person is to stop talking about it. waste no more time talking about it. Just be a good person. Do what you would expect a good person to do.
Too often we see people around us trying to be good people. Most people aspire to do what they see as good, but here are two questions to ask yourself:
What do YOU mean when you tell yourself you want to be a good person?
How do you become that good person?
Marcus Aurelius wrote that the way to become a good person is to simply BE that good person. There's no other way around it.
There is no amount of talking that will change your character. Your actions are what will change your character.
As Alchemists, as people who strive for self-improvement by looking within, we know that we shape our overall destiny from our actions.
Remember what Lao Tzu, the Taoist philosopher said. "Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."
So let's stop wasting time arguing with each other about what a good person is. There's no use. Just be a good person.