Marcus Aurelius Top Ten Conflict Tips

Having just posted one great quote from the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (CE 121-180) I thought I would add one of our Top Ten Conflict Tips based on his thinking in his famous book ‘Meditations’. Though he was so wise I had to make it Top Twenty Conflict Tips:

  1. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
  2. “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
  3. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.”
  4. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
  5. “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury”.
  6. “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
  7. “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
  8. “If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed.  It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”
  9. “How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”
  10. “The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.”
  11. “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.”
  12. “Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil.”
  13. “Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.”
  14. How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.”
  15. “Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.”
  16. “Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.”
  17. “Humans have come into being for the sake of each other, so either teach them, or learn to bear them.”
  18. “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”
  19. “Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly. What doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness.”
  20. “Dig within. Within is the wellspring of Good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig.”  

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Aurelius

Marcus

L'Image et le Pouvoir - Buste cuirassé de Marc Aurèle agé - 3.jpg

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About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict History, Philosophy of Conflict, Top Ten Conflict Tips from Great Thinkers, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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