The present moment

Give yourself a gift: The present moment. People out for posthumous fame forget that the Generations To Come will be the same annoying people they know now. And just as mortal. What does it matter to you if they say x about you or think y?

~ Marcus Aurelius

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Already knowing

The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.

~ Leo Tolstoy

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Each existing only briefly

Nature takes substance and makes a horse. Like a sculpture with wax. And then melts it down and uses the material for a tree. Then for a person. Then for something else. Each existing only briefly. It does the container no harm to be put together, and none to be taken apart.

~ Marcus Aurelius

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There is no hurry

By the time it came to the edge of the Forest the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and, being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to when it was younger, but moved more slowly. For it knew now where it was going, and said to itself, “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

~ A. A. Milne

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Surprised by old age

Their minds are still childish when they are surprised by old age, which they reach without preparation and without weapons, for they have stumbled upon it suddenly and unexpectedly without realizing that it was stealing upon them day by day.

~ Seneca

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Numbered precisely

If men could see their future years numbered as precisely as their past, what a flutter there would be among those who saw that their remaining years were few, how sparing of them would they be! With a fixed amount, however small, it is easy to economize; but when you cannot know when what you have will be gone you must husband your store very carefully.

~ Seneca

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Crystalizing experiences

It’s important to be aware of our own crystallizing experiences and how they affected us. I’m curious about what crystalizing experiences you’ve had, and I’m thinking beyond just moments, to books, people, videos, discussions, whatever left an impact. What stuck with you and changed the way you thought about things? This could be in any area of your life: work, learning, movement, writing, any hobby. What was the experience, and how did it change your practice?

~ Melissa Way

The Movers Mindset team has an internal project management system. (Basecamp.com in case you’re still mysteriously using something dysfunctional, like Slack, to run your team.) Each week, in a sort of loose rotation, we take turns kicking off some discussion by posting something—anything, whatever interests us when it’s our turn.

I’ve been coming back to this post from Melissa for nearly two weeks, trying to figure out where to start on a reply. Each time I start thinking, my mind wanders down a seemingly endless sequence of formative experiences; I can’t even begin to list them as they’d sound like an intolerable bragging-list. There are some unbelievable experiences ranging from, “been there,” to “done that,” and careening between, “literally cheated death,” and “hfsyesagainplease.”

Instead of trying to pick just one, tell the story, and pull out how the experience changed me, I’m going to ask, and attempt to answer, a meta question: Is life a journey of becoming, or simply a journey?

If it’s the former, then I should be paying attention for—perhaps even actively seeking—crystallizing experiences my entire life. I should be continuously repeating the process of asking myself what I should change or improve next, and then seeking out the experiences or knowledge to achieve that change. But having bashed myself on that cold anvil, incessantly seeking change and improvement, I’m now convinced that it’s the later.

Life is simply a journey.

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How? Patience, honesty, humility

No carelessness in your actions. No confusion in your words. No imprecision in your thoughts. No retreating into your own soul, or trying to escape it. No overactivity. They kill you, cut you with knives, shower you with curses. And that somehow cuts your mind off from clearness, and sanity, and self-control, and justice? A man standing by a spring of clear, sweet water and cursing it. While the fresh water keeps on bubbling up. He can shovel mud into it, or dung, and the stream will carry it away, wash itself clean, remain unstained. To have that. Not a cistern but a perpetual spring. How? By working to win your freedom. hour by hour,. Through patience, honesty, humility.

~ Marcus Aurelius from, Meditations 8,51

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